The Biden administration announced its third round of sanctions against Cuban law enforcement entities on Friday, targeting the country’s military police.
The sanctions were imposed under the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the U.S. to seek financial punishment against human rights offenders, and target the Cuban special forces as well as leaders Romarico Vidal Sotomayor Garcia and Pedro Orlando Martinez Fernandez.
“The Treasury Department will continue to designate those who enable the Cuban government to perpetuate human rights abuses against peaceful demonstrators,” the Treasury Department said in a release.
“Today’s action shines a spotlight on additional perpetrators responsible for suppressing the Cuban people’s calls for freedom and respect for human rights.”
The sanctions freeze any assets under U.S. jurisdiction and bar U.S. travel for the officials, but, given the longtime U.S. embargo, they offer more of a symbolic condemnation than providing practical restrictions.
The designation comes after Diubis Laurencio Tejeda died in a clash with police forces during the July protests that took place in 45 cities across the island.
The Treasury Department said the red beret force “in one instance have been involved in a violent engagement with a protestor” and said Sotomayor and Martinez were “responsible for or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse.”
The Biden administration previously issued Magnitsky Act sanctions against Álvaro López Miera, minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, as well as a special forces unit known as the Black Wasps and Cuba’s National Revolutionary Police along with its leader, Oscar Callejas Valcarce, and his deputy, Eddy Sierra Arias.
“I want the Cuban Americans to know that we — all around this table and myself included — see your pain, we hear your voices, and we hear the cries of freedom coming from the island,” President BidenJoe BidenJill Biden campaigns for McAuliffe in Virginia Fill the Eastern District of Virginia Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted MORE said late last month at a meeting with Cuban American leaders.
“We're going to continue to add sanctions on individuals that carry out the regime’s abuses.”