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US imposes sanctions on Cuban officials for trying to silence the Cuban people

(CNN) – The Biden government has punished eight Cuban officials for attempting to silence Cubans who participated in anti-government protests. last summerSecretary of State Tony Blinken announced Thursday.

“Due to the harsh and unjust sentences imposed on peaceful protesters, the State Department today took steps to impose visa restrictions on eight Cuban officials implicated in attempts to silence the voices of the Cuban people through repression, unfair arrests, and harsh prison sentences.” He said.

Anti-government protests in Cuba last year resulted in widespread arbitrary arrests. There have also been more than 130 cases in which security forces have violated due process, beating, sexually assaulting, and forcing protesters to solitary confinement, according to Human Rights Watch.

Among these eight are Cuban officials in connection with the arrest, sentencing and imprisonment of peaceful protesters on 11 July. Blinken said the United States has taken steps to impose visa restrictions in response to the Cuban government’s attempts to deprive Cubans of their freedom and rights through persistent intimidation tactics, unjust imprisonment, and harsh punishments.

Blinken said the United States would continue to press for the release of hundreds of political prisoners.

“Approximately 600 protesters across the island remain in prison after the July 11 protests, some of whom are suffering from deteriorating health conditions and cannot get food, medicine or calls to their loved ones,” Blinken said. “The United States continues to use all appropriate diplomatic and economic tools to advance the release of political prisoners and to support the Cuban people’s call for greater freedom and responsibility.”

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