Washington firmly warned, on Friday, any party or individual about supporting Cuban officials that are under U.S. sanctions.
“We are making it clear that anyone who supplies Cuba’s brutal police force, the Special National Brigade, the Interior Ministry, or any other Cuban individuals or entities designated under the Global Magnitsky program may face sanctions risk of their own,” the state asserted in a statement.
“We will continue to take action to promote accountability for the Cuban government’s human rights abuses,” it reiterated.
The Biden administration announced new sanctions against Cuba’s national revolutionary police and its top two officials as the U.S. looks to increase pressure on the communist government following this month’s protests on the island.
“Earlier this month, Cubans took to the street in a show of the will of the people of Cuba,” Biden said during a State Dining Room meeting with Cuban American leaders.
“There will be more unless there is some drastic change in Cuba, which I don’t anticipate,” Biden told reporters before hosting a group of Cuban-American leaders at the White House.
Thousands of Cubans took to the streets earlier in July, shouting “Freedom,” “Down with the dictatorship” and “We’re hungry” in the biggest protests since the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959.
Hundreds of people were arrested and many face charges of contempt, public disorder, vandalism and propagation of the coronavirus pandemic for marching without face masks.
On his part, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement: “We stand in solidarity with the people of Cuba, and today’s designations result in an additional layer of restrictions on the PNR and its leaders.”
Today, we are imposing further sanctions against the Cuban police following their attacks on protestors, including young people, religious leaders, and civil society organizations. We will continue to promote accountability for the Cuban regime’s human rights abuses.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) July 30, 2021
Cuba strenuously rejected the inclusion of the NRP and its directors on “spurious lists” by the United States.
“These arbitrary measures add to disinformation and aggression to justify the inhumane blockade against Cuba,” Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said in a tweet, referring to Washington’s embargo against Havana that has been in place since 1962.