Biden Says New Cuba Sanctions Are “Just The Beginning”
President Biden says the newly announced sanctions against Cuba are “just the beginning” after rare widespread protests took over multiple cities on the communist-run island starting earlier in July. In the Thursday fresh sanctions announcement Biden condemned “the mass detentions and sham trials that are unjustly sentencing to prison those who dared to speak out in an effort to intimidate and threaten the Cuban people into silence,” according to a White House statement.
Specifically these latest sanctions target the defense minister and the National Special Brigade of Cuba’s Interior Ministry (on top of broader decades-long US sanctions against the government and economy).
Biden said these two officials in particular are spearheading the crackdown on Cuban protesters. He suggested there’s much more to come.
“This is just the beginning — the United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people,” Biden said.
The administration further said it’s working to “restore internet access” in Cuba after widespread shutdowns were reported over this month as Cuban security forces struggle to gain control of the demonstrations, largely driven by an economy in tatters, food and fuel shortages, and severe mismanagement of the pandemic crisis.
Currently, the US even prohibits remittances, barring Cuban-Americans from sending money to their families, with last year Western Union also shutting down all money-sending services to Cuba after the Trump administration re-imposed sanctions.
The Biden White House since he took office has vowed to “review” Trump era policies, but so far has kept them in place and now even appears to be ramping up the pressure once again. He again hinted this week that there could be a policy change toward “easing” restrictions.
Cuba has for its part alleged a foreign hand behind the recent protests, especially following the so-called “Cuban Twitter” initiative of the past decade, which was long ago exposed as part of Washington’s covert efforts to stir unrest on the island.
Fri, 07/23/2021 – 20:40