Washington cancels visas of eight other Cuban officials for cracking down on protesters last July

Washington cancels visas of eight other Cuban officials for cracking down on protesters last July

Ap and Sputnik

La Jornada newspaper of Saturday January 8, 2022, p. 19

Washington. President Joe Biden’s government has imposed travel restrictions on eight Cuban officials who he says have been complicit in the crackdown on opposition protesters and other dissidents. When there are no more nuts to squeeze, the punishments come with first and last names. Although they never stopped doing it against all the Cuban people. Cuba’s dignity is the problem, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel wrote in response on his Twitter account.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the visa restrictions in a statement condemning the ongoing crackdown on participants in protests that began last July, noting that Cuban prison sentences imposed on those involved were harsh and unfair. .

The names of the eight officials sanctioned were withheld, but Blinken suggested they were all linked to the arrest, conviction and jail of peaceful protesters. Washington says some 600 protesters remain in jail after the July 11 protests despite calls for their release.

The White House has taken action to enforce visa restrictions in response to the Cuban government’s attempts to deprive citizens of their liberty and rights through continued intimidation tactics, unfair imprisonment and harsh sentences , said Blinken.

The Biden administration has largely maintained former President Donald Trump’s political line towards the island. Blinken announced visa restrictions on nine Cuban officials in late November for similar actions against anti-government protesters.

Besides Díaz-Canel, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez condemned the sanctions. The US government persists in the bad habit of trying to impose its will on other governments through unilateral coercive measures, he said in a statement. Cuba’s determination to defend its sovereign rights is not impaired one iota.

Cuban officials said the United States was the real instigator of the protests last July.

Washington has spoken out in favor of Cuban activists and praised the anti-government protests, but Havana describes the protests as subversive and destabilizing actions organized and funded by the powerful nation in the north of the continent.