The United States imposed new sanctions on Cuba on Friday for its suppression of anti-government demonstrations earlier this month. President Joe Biden has warned that additional sanctions may loom if the country does not implement major reforms. “There will be more to come unless there is a radical change in Cuba, which I don’t expect,” Biden said at a news conference after a meeting with Cuban-American leaders at the White House.
The new sanctions seem largely symbolic: the United States has blacklisted two senior Cuban police officials. This means, among other things, that all of their potential holdings in the United States, such as balances in bank accounts and real estate, have been frozen. Also, they are not allowed to do business with US citizens or entities.
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“Today’s action is to hold accountable those responsible for suppressing the Cuban people’s demands for freedom and respect for human rights,” a US Treasury official said.
On July 11 and 12, thousands of Cubans took to the streets to demonstrate against the government. This was the largest anti-government protest since Fidel Castro came to power after the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Hundreds of protesters were arrested. About 60 Cubans are on trial for their participation in the demonstrations.