Wednesday, December 1

Biden advances in sanctions against the Government of Cuba

US President Joe Biden.

US President Joe Biden.

The US President’s Administration, Joe Bidenannounced this Friday more sanctions against the Government of Cuba, this time to the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) and two of its leaders, after the protests of July 11, but he parked the actions on the internet and the sending of remittances to the island.

The US Department of the Treasury sanctioned the director of the PNR today, Óscar Callejas Valcarce, and his deputy director, Eddy Sierra Arias placeholder image, for his alleged role in the repression of the unprecedented anti-government demonstrations in the Caribbean country.

The sanctions block any assets that Callejas, Sierra or members of the PNR may have under US jurisdiction, and prohibit those in the United States from negotiating with them, based on US Magnitsky law.

Second round of sanctions

This Friday was the second round of sanctions imposed by the Biden government, After last Thursday the Treasury announced measures against the Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) of Cuba, Álvaro López-Miera, and an elite military unit popularly known as “black wasps” or “black berets.” “We are holding the regime accountable,” said Biden hours later, who on Friday received a group of Americans with Cuban roots at the White House.

Biden: “We are holding the regime to account”

In addition, he promised more sanctions “unless there is a drastic change in Cuba”, and anticipated among the recipients “the people who carry out the abuses of the regime.”

Internet and remittances

And despite the fact that measures were expected at the meeting on internet access on the island and possibly on sending remittances to Cuba, Biden pointed out that they are working on it.

Referring to the internet, the Democratic ruler assured that They are looking for “all available options” to guarantee full access for Cubans to this service., and allow the people to “evade censorship.”

“You always know that something is wrong when a country does not allow its people to be on the internet and to make their case known throughout the world,” Biden stressed.

He reiterated that he asked the Treasury to give him recommendations within a month on “how to maximize the flow of remittances to the Cuban people, without the military taking a part.”

Last November, under the government of now former President Donald Trump (2017-2021), Washington prohibited the sending of remittances to Cuba, a decision that Biden has kept in force and has put more economic pressure on the island.

A US official told reporters on Friday that the White House wants to first ensure that the Government of Havana does not keep part of the money, something difficult to guarantee.

Biden also indicated that they are “working” on increasing the staff at the embassy in Cuba, which was reduced after, in 2017, almost thirty American diplomats suffered mysterious “health incidents” whose motives have not yet been clarified.

This Friday’s meeting with Biden was attended by the Cuban singer Yotuel Romero, whose song “Patria y vida” became the “soundtrack” of popular protests in Cuba; as well as Democratic Senator Bob Menéndez and congressman from the same party Gregory Meeks.

Also present were Manny Díaz, former mayor of Miami (2001-2009); Felice Gorordo, Cuban-American businessman and CEO of eMerge Americas; and Ana Sofía Peláez, co-founder of the organization “Miami Freedom Project”.

Menéndez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, highlighted in a statement that Cuban-American leaders “had the opportunity to engage in a direct conversation with the president (Biden) about what must be done to hold the Cuban regime accountable. for the brutality he has perpetrated against his own people. ”

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