"This is just the beginning: the United States will continue to recognize those responsible for the persecution of the Cuban people," Biden said in a statement.
On Thursday, the United States approved Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) Minister Álvaro López-Miera and an elite military unit known as the wasps or "black berets."
IN A STATEMENT, the US Treasury Department announced the sanctions, which hold those authorities responsible for the repression of the anti-government protests on July 11 in Cuba.
López-Miera is a man of confidence of the former Cuban dictator Raúl Castro, who also held minister of the FAR on the island for decades;
Meanwhile, "Black wasps" is the popular name for the elite unit known as the National Special Brigade of the Interior Ministry.
The sanctions prohibit any assets held by López-Miera
or members of this elite unit in the US jurisdiction and prohibit people in the United States from interacting with them.
"This is just the beginning: the United States will continue to approve those responsible for the persecution of the Cuban people," Biden said in a statement.
The Treasury Department alleged that the ministry led by López-Miera has played "an integral role in the repression of protests in Cuba in which Cuban citizens call for the end of a 62-year-old regime and denounce the deterioration of conditions of life on the island, in addition to demanding access to basic goods and services and medical care". For the US organization, the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MIN FAR), "they have attacked people who were demonstrating and have been responsible for the arrest or disappearance of more than 100 demonstrators, in an attempt to suppress the protests ."
As for the special brigade of "black wasps," the Treasury assures that the Cuban government deployed it on July 11 to "suppress" the protests and "attack the demonstrators, "for which it considers it responsible for "serious abuses of human rights."
The sanctions are imposed based on the so-called Magnitsky Global Act. This US legislation allows the US to freeze financial assets and ban travel to those who violate human rights in any country in the world.
The move shows Biden's interest in tightening his policy on Cuba in light of this month's protests, although during the election campaign, he was promoted by former President Barack Obama (2009-2017). Pazir promised to return.
The White House is also considering other measures, such as approving remittances banned in Cuba since last November. First, however, he wants to ensure that the money reaches the Cuban people directly, a US official told the EFE.
Another initiative Biden is analyzing is the transfer of more personnel to the US Embassy in Havana for "diplomatic, consular and civil society participation" and "security" reasons.
The president also ordered his government to work with the private sector and Congress to make the Internet "more accessible" in Cuba, following a blackout of mobile phone access following protests.