The US State Department accuses targeted Cuban officials of participating in the suppression of opposition protesters.
The United States has banned eight Cuban government officials from entering the country, accusing them of being involved in the suppression of peaceful protesters last July.
In a statement on Thursday, US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken accused targeted Cuban officials of participating in “attempts to suppress the voice of the Cuban people through repression, unfair detention and severe imprisonment”.
The top US diplomat specifically pointed out the treatment of the Cuban protesters who took to the streets in July. Unprecedented wave of demonstrations Responding to rising food prices, drug shortages and other socio-economic issues on the island.
The United States imposed visa restrictions on eight Cuban government officials. Those who imprison peaceful protesters and sentence them to unfair imprisonment must be held accountable. We stand with the Cuban people in their struggle for freedom.
-Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (@SecBlinken) January 6, 2022
“These eight individuals include Cuban officials related to the detention, sentence and imprisonment of peaceful protesters on July 11,” Brinken said in the statement, but did not disclose the names of the Cuban officials.
This July protest It was the largest in Cuba since the revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959.
Thousands of people took to the streets angrily due to shortages of basic commodities, restrictions on civil liberties, and handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of protesters were arrested.
The travel ban is the latest action taken by President Joe Biden’s administration against Cuba, and Biden largely followed his predecessor Donald Trump’s highly critical policy on the island.
The US government has previously publicly expressed its support for Cuban activists and praised anti-government protests.
The Cuban government accuses Washington of inciting the recent wave of unrest, hoping Destabilize the country, It also blames the severe economic conditions faced by many people on the severe sanctions imposed by the United States.
November, more The planned demonstration failed In some Cuban opposition detainees and laws prohibiting protests. In response, Brinken announced a travel ban on nine Cuban officials because he said it was similar to an action against protesters.
Brinken said on Thursday that about 600 Cuban protesters are still in detention, and some of them have deteriorated health and are unable to obtain proper food or medicine.
He said in the statement: “The United States continues to use all appropriate diplomatic and economic tools to promote the release of political prisoners and supports the Cuban people’s call for greater freedom and accountability.”