When Biden meets Cuban Americans, the U.S. sets new Cuban sanctions


The Washington-Biden administration announced new sanctions on Friday against the Cuban National Revolutionary Police and its top two officials. The United States is trying to increase pressure on the Communist Party administration following this month’s island protests.

The Police State Revolution (PNR) and the directors and deputy directors of government agencies, Oscar Kajehas Valkars and Eddie Sierra Arias, have been subject to the latest sanctions announced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Ministry of Finance. Police are part of Cuba’s Interior Ministry and were already subject to comprehensive designation by the Trump administration in January.

“We hear a cry of freedom from the island. The United States is working in concert to strengthen the cause of the Cuban people,” said President Joe Biden shortly after the Treasury announced sanctions. I mentioned at the beginning of the White House meeting with Americans.

The government said it is considering a wide range of additional options in response to protests, including providing Internet access to Cubans, to ensure that more of the money Cuban Americans send home. Created a working group to review US remittance policies directly in the hands of their families without the administration reducing. Biden added that more sanctions are offshore.

The White House Conference will take place almost three weeks after the unusual July 11 protest in which thousands of Cubans went to the streets of Havana and other cities to protest the Communist regime in Cuba. They were the first such protest since the 1990s.

The Cuban administration has deployed PNRs to attack protesters, the Treasury said in a statement. Police were photographed in Havana in confrontation with protesters, including members of the July 11 Mothers Movement, a group established to organize imprisoned and disappeared families, according to the Treasury. rice field.

Cuban protest
On July 12, 2021, a man was arrested during a demonstration against the Cuban communist regime in the city of Aroyona Lanjo in Havana, Cuba. (YamilLage / AFP via Getty Images)

In Camaguey, a Catholic priest was beaten and arrested by a PNR while defending a young protester, according to the Treasury. PNR officials have also documented cases of beating a group of peaceful demonstrators, including a few minors, and using the club to disperse peaceful protests throughout Cuba. Said the Treasury.

“The Treasury will continue to nominate and call on those who will promote the Cuban administration’s involvement in serious human rights abuses,” said Andrea Gacki, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control. “Today’s actions help make people more responsible for curbing the call for freedom and respect for human rights for the Cuban people.”

Among the Cuban-American activists I met with Biden was Yotuel Romero, one of the authors of the song “Patria yvida!”. One official said this was a kind of hymn of protest.

Other attendees included L. Felice Golordo, CEO of eMerge Americas. Anasophia Peraes, founder of the Miami Freedom Project, Manny Diaz, former mayor of Miami, and Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat in New Jersey and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

White House officials said Biden would discuss new sanctions and possible ways to establish Internet access for the Cuban people.

Internet access is a delicate issue in Cuba. In the days before the recent protest, there was a call to social media for anti-establishment demonstrations. The Cuban administration has accused US anti-Castro groups of campaigning on social media, especially Twitter, and doing nothing to thwart Twitter.

The Cuban administration does not explicitly admit that they did it, but Internet services were cut off at some point during the protest on July 11.

On July 11, 2021, during a protest in Havana, Cuba, people shouted a slogan against the communist regime. (Alexandre Meneghini / Reuters)

Some U.S. leaders, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, should do something, such as the White House using balloons as a Wi-Fi access point for the population to maintain Internet services in Cuba. Said.

The Biden administration is also considering a proposal proposed by US supporters of trade with Cuba to restore the way Cuban Americans send money to relatives on the island.

Biden and others refused to fully recover the remittance because of the percentage of transactions paid to the Cuban administration. However, under one proposal under consideration, the transfer agent will be exempt from that fee until the end of the year, according to the proposer.

However, the proposal must be approved by the Cuban administration, and it is not entirely clear whether or not it will agree.

Last week, the U.S. government announced sanctions against Cuban military minister Alvaro Lopez Miera and a special brigade of the Interior Ministry (known as the “black beret”) for participating in the arrest of protesters.

International organizations have severely criticized the Cuban administration.

Judiciary officials say there were 19 trials involving 59 people, but so far it is unknown how many have been detained.