US President Joe Biden said his country would impose new sanctions on Cuba in response to Cuban authorities’ reaction to the protests, Reuters reported. The president met the leaders of the Cuban community at the White House.
The United States imposed sanctions on Cuban police and two of its leaders on Friday. The US Treasury Department said the sanctions were a result of “actions to quell peaceful, pro-democracy protests in Cuba, which began on July 11.”
“There will be more unless there is a drastic change in Cuba, which I do not expect,” Biden said at a White House meeting. “The United States is taking concerted action to support the cause of the Cuban people,” he added.
Biden said he had asked the State Department and the Treasury Department to inform him how remittances from the United States to Cuba could be allowed without benefiting the Cuban government.
He is also working on a plan to provide wireless communications for Cubans and strengthen the staff of the US embassy in Cuba, a senior US administration official said. Thousands protested on July 11th in many places in Cuba – an unprecedented mobilization in the communist country, where the only permitted gatherings are rallies by the ruling Communist Party. President Miguel Diaz-Canel called on his supporters to take to the streets “in defense of the revolution” to prevent provocations against the authorities. Cuban authorities have blamed the United States for organizing the riots.
On July 22, the United States announced sanctions against Cuban Defense Minister Alvaro Lopez Miera and against a special unit of the Cuban Interior Ministry for suppressing the July 11 protests in Cuba.