The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on Cuba’s National Revolutionary Police (PNR) and two of its leaders, as US President Joe Biden prepares to announce measures related to the island’s Internet.
The US Treasury Department announced in an official note punishments against the PNR, its director, Óscar Callejas Valcarce, and its deputy director, Eddy Sierra Arias. They are suspected of reprimanding the protests against the Cuban government that took place on the 11th.
The announcement came an hour before Biden hosted a group of Cuban-rooted Americans at the White House, a meeting at which he planned to announce measures on Internet access in Cuba and possibly on sending remittances to the island, according to a senior official. government level.
“We will announce measures to improve internet connectivity on the island, to ensure that we support people’s ability to communicate with each other and receive information, which is something that should be treated as a human right,” said the source, who asked for anonymity.
Biden also planned to give more details about two other issues he asked his team to study: the possibility of re-authorizing remittances to Cuba, which has been banned since last November, and the possible transfer of more personnel to the US embassy. USA in Havana.
Today’s is the second round of sanctions imposed by the US government over the July 11 protests in Cuba. Last Thursday, the Treasury Department punished Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) minister Álvaro López-Miera and an elite military unit popularly known as ‘black wasps’.
Biden said at the time that the move was “just the beginning” of his response to those who allegedly suppressed this month’s protests. The government official who requested anonymity said today that the new restrictions are intended to keep the conversation going about “the rights of the Cuban people”.
The sanctions block any assets that Callejas, Sierra or PNR members may have under US jurisdiction and prohibit any American or resident from having any relationship with them.
This Friday’s meeting with Biden at the White House would feature Cuban singer Yotuel Romero, whose song “Patria y vida” became the soundtrack to popular protests in Cuba. Also included would be Democratic Senator Bob Menéndez and Deputy Gregory Meeks, from the same party, former Miami mayor Manny Díaz, Cuban-American businessman Felice Gorordo, CEO of eMerge Americas; and co-founder of the Miami Freedom Project Ana Sofía Peláez.