Thursday, April 18, 2024

U.S. Announces Travel Ban on Eight Cuban Officials After Crackdown on Protesters

The Biden Administration has issued a travel ban on eight Cuban officials who have been complicit in the repression of opposition protesters.

This week, Anthony Blinken, Secretary of State, declared visa restrictions punishing an ongoing crackdown on participants in protests that started in July and called prison sentences given to those involved “harsh and unjust.”

Blinken states that all eight officials were connected to the “detention, sentencing, and imprisonment” of peaceful protesters.  About 600 protesters across the island remain in prison after the July 11 protest despite appeals for their release.

“The United States continues to use all appropriate diplomatic and economic tools to push for the release of political prisoners and to support the Cuban people’s call for greater freedom and accountability,” Blinken announced.

Bruno Rodriguez, Cuban Foreign Minister criticized the travel ban by stating “the US government persists in the bad habit of trying to impose its will on other governments by means of unilateral coercive measures.”

In July, thousands of Cuban protestors took to the streets in cities over the island to protest power blackouts and shortages of goods. This was the largest protest Cuba has seen in recent years.

After the protests, the U.S. issued new sanctions on Cuba’s national revolutionary police and its tops two officials.

The Biden Administration has praised the anti-government protest and has spoken in support of Cuban activists.