U.S. Treasury Imposes New Sanctions on Two Cuban Police Leaders and on National Police Institution
July 30, 2021 (EIRNS)—Prior to President Joe Biden’s scheduled meeting today at the White House with leaders of the Cuban-American community, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions on Oscar Callejas Valcarce, Director of Cuba’s Revolutionary National Police, his Deputy Director Eddy Sierra Arias, and on the National Police as an institution. Acting under the aegis of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, OFAC Director Andrea M. Gacki explained that the two individuals sanctioned are responsible for “serious human rights abuses” during and after the July 11 protests, and that “today’s action serves to further hold accountable those responsible for suppressing the Cuban people’s calls for freedom and respect for human rights.”
The OFAC statement also boasts that in addition to these new sanctions, it continues to “enforce the Cuba sanctions program, which is the most comprehensive sanctions program administered by OFAC.” This includes the economic embargo established in 1962 which has caused untold suffering for the Cuban people. When Biden announced sanctions on Cuba’s Defense Minister and an elite brigade of the Interior Ministry on July 22, he promised that “this is just the beginning.” The meeting he is scheduled to have with Cuban-American leaders later this afternoon is intended to discuss additional punishments.
This discussion is posed as determining ways to “support the Cuban people,” making it easier to send remittances, for example, but insisting that the economic blockade remain in place, as loosening it would “embolden” the government, as the argument goes. A U.S.-led military invasion or bombing Havana, as some of the Miami-based Cuban crowd have demanded, isn’t likely to happen, but keeping in place all the capabilities financed by USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, etc., is seen as essential to eventually unleashing a color revolution on the island.