Biden administration preparing to impose sanctions on Cuban regime

The move is expected as soon as Thursday and will call out violators of human rights abuses in the country in a very public manner.

The “Black Berets” – recognized locally as Boinas Negras and formally as the National Special Brigade of the Ministry of the Interior – are an elite Cuban special forces unit that the government has widely used to crack down on protesters. posted for. anti-government protest On the communist island.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday that the Treasury Department is “exploring” sanctions on Cuban officials responsible for violence, harassment, and human rights violations against those peaceful protesters.

Price said that he “is not in a position to elaborate yet what a potential sanctions might look like, what authority we might use, but we are certainly looking at ways that those of the Cuban regime might be used.” Can hold the officers accountable who are responsible for us.” has seen,” but added that the administration “believes there is more room for additional sanctions”.

The top State Department official for Western Hemisphere Affairs also indicated sanctions are forthcoming, writing on Twitter on Wednesday, “We are going to focus on imposing harsh sanctions on regime officials responsible for brutal actions.”

“The Cuban authorities responsible for the violence, repression and human rights violations against peaceful protesters in Cuba must be held accountable,” wrote Acting Assistant Secretary Julie Chung.

The Biden administration will use officials from the Global Magnitsky Act – which allows sanctions against those involved in significant human rights abuses or corruption – to approve Boinas Negras.

Earlier this week, the Biden administration announced that it would Review a policy on remittances In the wake of historic protests on the island.

A senior administration official said the “remittance working group” will work to identify the most effective way to get remittances directly into the hands of the Cuban people. Administration officials have also said they are looking into ways for Cubans to access the Internet amid a government-imposed communications blackout.

“We have seen the actions taken by the Cuban government in the context of these peaceful demonstrations – internet crackdowns, blockades, regime attempts to suppress the voices of the Cuban people, to block their access to information – and so we To that effect we are exploring options with both Congress and the private sector,” Price said.

Protests erupted across the island nation earlier this month as Cuba complained about a lack of food and medicine as the country grapples with a severe economic crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions. Activists say hundreds of protesters were detained during the days of the unrest.

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Jennifer Hansler contributed to this report.

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