New York: The US administration imposed new sanctions on top Cuban police officers for suppressing the anti-government demonstrations. US President Joe Biden also warned that the country will also launch other punitive measures if Cuba does not undertake sweeping reforms.
‘There will be more unless there is some drastic change in Cuba, which I don’t anticipate,’ Biden said. Biden on Friday stood shoulder to shoulder with Cuban American leaders at a White House meeting. ‘We hear your voices. We hear the cries of freedom coming from the island,’ Biden said.
US Treasury Department has included National Revolutionary Police Director Oscar Callejas Valcarce and Deputy Director Eddy Sierra Arias to its sanctions blacklist. By this US can seize any property they might have in the United States and bars US transactions with them.
The Treasury Department will continue to designate and call out by name those who facilitate the Cuban regime’s involvement in serious human rights abuse. Today’s action serves to further hold accountable those responsible for suppressing the Cuban people’s calls for freedom and respect for human rights,’ said Andrea Gacki, director Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Cuba launched severe criticism against the US decision to include its officers in the list. ‘These arbitrary measures add to disinformation and aggression to justify the inhumane blockade against Cuba,’ tweeted Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, referring to US’s embargo against Cuba that has been in place since 1962.
Cuba is witnessing massive protests against the communist government. The communist regime has arrested hundreds of people under the charges of contempt, public disorder, vandalism and propagation of the coronavirus pandemic for marching without face masks.
Earlier on Thursday, the European Union called on Cuba to release people arrested “arbitrarily” during the protests. ‘We are very concerned about the repression of these protests, as well as for the arrest of protesters and journalists,’ EU said in a statement.