US Sanctions on Cuban Defense Minister 'Just the Beginning'

US President Joe Biden announces more sanctions on Cuba that target the defense minister and the National Special Brigade.

  • US President Joe Biden
    US President Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden expressed today, Thursday, his condemnation of "the mass detentions and sham trials that are unjustly sentencing to prison those who dared to speak out to intimidate and threaten the Cuban people into silence." 

In his statement on Thursday on the protests in Cuba, he declared that "the Cuban people have the same right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as all people. The United States stands with the brave Cubans who have taken to the streets to oppose 62 years of repression under a communist regime."

Biden announced that he would impose sanctions that target Cuban officials, such as "the head of the Cuban military and the division of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior driving the crackdown—to hold them accountable for their actions."

He noted that "this is just the beginning–the United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for the oppression of the Cuban people."

Biden added that Cuban Americans are working with the US administration to "provide relief to suffering people on the Island," as the US administration works with "civil society organizations and the private sector to provide internet access to the Cuban people."

The US Treasury announced imposing sanctions through its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), targeting the Cuban Defense Minister Alvaro Lopez Miera and the National Special Brigade.

A few days ago, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said that the United States "has failed in its efforts to destroy Cuba," adding that “If President Joseph Biden had sincere humanitarian concern for the Cuban people, he could eliminate the 243 measures implemented by President Donald Trump, including the more than 50 cruelly imposed during the pandemic, as a first step towards ending the blockade."

Diaz-Canel also called on Cubans “to not act with hate”, denouncing the protests as part of a well-funded US-sponsored effort to create “chaos” in Cuba.