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Biden imposes sanctions on Cuban officials


(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) WASHINGTON, July 22 (KUNA) -- US President Joseph Biden announced on Thursday that his administration imposed sanctions on Cuban minister of defense Alvaro Lopez and the communist nation's special forces brigade for the repression of peaceful protests.
"I unequivocally condemn 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," Biden said in a statement.
"The Cuban people have the same right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as all people. The United States stands with the brave Cubans who have taken to the streets to oppose 62 years of repression under a communist regime.
"Today, my Administration is imposing new sanctions targeting elements of the Cuban regime responsible for this crackdown-the head of the Cuban military and the division of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior driving the crackdown-to hold them accountable for their actions.
"This is just the beginning - the United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people," he added.
He went to say that "As we hold the Cuban regime accountable, our support for the Cuban people is unwavering and we are making sure Cuban Americans are a vital partner in our efforts to provide relief to suffering people on the Island.
"We are working with civil society organizations and the private sector to provide internet access to the Cuban people that circumvents the regime's censorship efforts.
"We are reviewing our remittance policy to determine how we can maximize support to the Cuban people. And we are committed to re-staffing our embassy in Havana to provide consular services to Cubans and enhance our ability to engage with civil society, while ensuring the safety of US diplomats serving in Cuba."
Meanwhile, Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen said in a separate statement that the department will continue imposing its sanctions related to Cuba, including today's, in support of the Cuban people for democracy. (end)
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