The US Treasury Department has announced that it will enforce sanctions on two Cuban Ministry of Interior officials and a military unit, in the latest round of penalties imposed by Washington over a crackdown on recent protests.
On Friday, the US said that it was sanctioning Romarico Vidal Sotomayor Garcia and Pedro Orlando Martinez Fernandez, two officials of the interior ministry, accusing them of being “perpetrators responsible for suppressing the Cuban people’s calls for freedom and respect for human rights.”
The Treasury also said it would impose sanctions on the Tropas de Prevencion of the Cuban Ministry of Revolutionary Armed Forces.
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Cuba’s vaccine development success should be the impetus to lift sanctions and end the embargo
The US has condemned the Cuban government’s response to a recent spate of protests over the past two months. While some protesters oppose the Cuban government and its response to the pandemic and ongoing shortages of goods and medicine, others have appealed for the US to remove crippling economic sanctions on the socialist country, which have been in place since the Cold War.
Officials in Cuba have accused the Biden administration of stoking the unrest.
Friday’s sanctions add to a long list of already existing ones. In late July, Washington sanctioned the Cuban police force and its two top officials for their policing of the protests.
Earlier in July, some blamed the US’ decades-long trade embargo on Cuba for a shortage in syringes for the Cubans’ homegrown Abdala Covid-19 vaccine.
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Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has condemned the US for what he claims is its aggravation of the Cuban people and said it and its allies are leading a campaign of “media terrorism” to demonize his country, fuel dissent and cripple the Cuban economy.
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