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Joe Biden's administration included Cuba's Minister of Defense, Alvaro Lopez Miera in a list of unilateral sanctions on Thursday.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez rejected the update of the so-called "Global Magnitsky" list of designated individuals, in which the U.S. government has just included the Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR, Defense), Alvaro Lopez Miera, and a unit of the Ministry of the Interior of Cuba.
Rodríguez, the Cuban foreign minister, said the United States should "apply the Magnitsky Act to itself, for the acts of daily repression and police brutality that cost 1021 lives in 2020" in that country.
The measures announced by the Treasury Department were implemented despite calls from members of the Democratic Party itself to end the blockade against Cuba and open a path of dialogue with Havana.
The Global Magnitsky Act of 2016, approves a "list of specially designated nationals and persons blocked" by the U.S. Government in which natural and legal persons are included for extrajudicial executions, torture or other serious crimes.
Rechazo infundadas y calumniosas sanciones del gobierno de #EEUU contra el GCE. Álvaro López Miera y la Brigada Especial Nacional.
Debería aplicarse a sí mismo la Ley Global Magnitsky por los actos de represión cotidiana y brutalidad policial que costaron 1021 vidas en 2020.
"I reject unfounded and slanderous sanctions by the #US government against the GCE Alvaro Lopez Miera and the National Special Brigade. It should apply the Global Magnitsky Act to itself for acts of daily repression and police brutality that cost 1021 lives in 2020."
The announcement of the new unilateral measures is due to alleged "abuses against demonstrators," following the protests and riots that took place on the island on July 11.
Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said her department "will continue to implement its Cuba-related sanctions, including those imposed today, to support the people of Cuba in their pursuit of democracy and relief from the Cuban regime," but avoided discussing the impact of the blockade on Cuba.
In response, the Cuban Foreign Minister expressed that "if the US government were concerned about the welfare of the Cuban people it would put an end to the blockade with which it is trying to suffocate us, to the illegal actions of interference in Cuba's internal affairs and to the disinformation campaigns to justify its aggressive measures with lies."