LatinNews Daily - 09 August 2021

US ratchets up sanctions on Cuba

Cuba: On 30 July US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the US has imposed economic and diplomatic sanctions on Cuba’s national police (PNR) and the PNR’s director and deputy director, Oscar Callejas Valcárcel and Eddy Sierra Arias, over the Cuban government’s repressive response to recent public protests. “The PNR, under the leadership of Callejas Valcárcel and Sierra Arias, has attacked and beaten peaceful protesters,” a statement by Blinken reads. As with earlier sanctions announced on 22 July, these latest sanctions are in line with the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. During a meeting with representatives from the Cuban community in the US held on 30 July also, US President Joe Biden highlighted these rounds of sanctions as a sign of the US government’s efforts to “hold the [Cuban] regime accountable”, and warned that further sanctions could be added “on individuals that carry out...the regime’s abuses”. Biden also noted that the US is “increasing direct support for the Cuban people by pursuing every option available to provide Internet access”, “expanding our assistance to political prisoners and dissidents”, and said that he has instructed the State Department and the Treasury to deliver recommendations on “how to maximise the flow of remittances to the Cuban people, without the Cuban military taking their cut”.

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