The United States Blacklists Eight Cuban Officials in Response to Their Repression of July 11 Protestors | Latest News!
On Thursday, the Biden administration issued travel restrictions against eight Cuban government officials, alleging that they were involved in the suppression of demonstrators this summer.
The unidentified officials were “implicated in attempts to stifle the voices of the Cuban people via repression, unlawful detentions, and severe jail terms,” according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“Among the eight are Cuban authorities linked to the capture, sentencing, and incarceration of nonviolent July 11 protestors,” he added. “The United States took efforts to enforce visa restrictions in reaction to the Cuban government’s ongoing use of intimidation techniques, wrongful detention, and harsh punishments to deprive Cubans their freedom and rights.”
Thousands of Cubans came to the streets on July 11 to demand economic reform in the face of a lack of products and medical supplies caused by the pandemic. It was the greatest anti-government protest in decades in the communist country.
During the demonstrations, US government leaders, including President Joe Biden, expressed sympathy for the protestors, while the Cuban authorities accused the US of fomenting the turmoil.
Following this, the US placed sanctions on key Cuban officials in reaction to the government’s response.
According to the State Department, over 600 protestors remain imprisoned across the island country as a result of the protests, with some suffering from severe health problems due to a lack of sufficient food, medicine, or family.
“These visa limitations reaffirm the United States’ commitment to assisting the Cuban people and holding Cuban officials accountable for the regime’s violations of democracy and human rights,” Blinken stated.
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On Thursday, Cuba’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, disputed the visa restrictions.
“The US administration maintains in its poor practice of using unilateral coercive measures to force its will on other states,” he tweeted. “The Secretary of State’s declaration today has no bearing on Cuba’s commitment to protecting its sovereign rights.”