US sanctions Cuban officers involved in repression against their own people
The United States sanctioned on Thursday three high ranking Cuban officials, the fourth round of punitive measures, in reply to the violent repression of anti-government protests that started on 11 July and shook the island’s elite.
Roberto Lagra and Andres Laureano González from the Revolutionary Armed Forces Ministry and Abelardo Jiménez from the Ministry of Interior have been included in the black list of the US Treasury Department.
The sanctions applied under the Global Magnitsky law enable to sanction those who have committed human rights abuses in other countries and mean the freezing of any assets they could have in the US and bans any transaction through the US financial system.
The United States will continue to make responsible all those who allow the Cuban government to perpetrate human rights abuses, according to Andrea Gacki, head of the Foreign Assets Control Office from the Treasury.
The measure exposes the perpetrators responsible for the repression of the Cuban people’s calls for liberty and respect for human rights, she added.
Lagra is deputy chief of the Joint Staff and Operations head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, FAR, which during the protests deployed the so-called Prevention Troops, a much-feared military police special unit. Gonzalez is head of the Central Army and Jiménez responsible for Cuban jails.
US President Joe Biden had anticipated more sanctions are in the pipeline unless drastic changes take place in Cuba.
On 11/12 July thousands took to the streets of Cuba protesting they were hungry and calling for an end to the dictatorship, in the midst of the worst economic crisis in decades and hundreds of deaths and contagions from the Covid 19 pandemic. As a result of the repression, one person was killed, tens injured and hundreds imprisoned, many already sentenced to twelve months in jail.