(CNN) – The Biden government has given permission to eight Cuban officials to try to pacify the Cuban people who took part in anti-government protests. Last summerSecretary of State Tony Blingen made the announcement on Thursday.
“The State Department has today taken steps to impose visa restrictions on eight Cuban officials involved in efforts to silence the voices of the Cuban people through repression, unjustified detention and harsh imprisonment, due to the harsh and unjust punishments imposed on peaceful protesters.”
Anti-government protests in Cuba last year led to widespread arbitrary arrests. According to Human Rights Watch, in more than 130 cases, security forces violated due process, beating, sexually abusing or imprisoning detainees in solitary confinement.
“These eight individuals are Cuban officials involved in the arrest, sentencing and imprisonment of peaceful protesters on July 11. The United States has taken steps to enforce visa restrictions in response to the Cuban government’s attempts to deny them their freedom and rights through intimidation tactics, unjust imprisonment and harsh punishments. , ”Said Blinken.
Blingen said the United States would continue to press for the release of hundreds of political prisoners.
“About 600 protesters have been jailed across the island since the July 11 protests, some with poor health conditions and no calls for food, medicine or loved ones,” Blingen said. “The United States continues to use all diplomatic and economic tools to advance the release of political prisoners and to support the Cuban people’s call for greater freedom and accountability.”