Cuba Dismisses New U.S. Sanctions as ‘Irrelevant’

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Cuba’s foreign minister on Friday dismissed new sanctions bu the United States as “irrelevant”, saying the country did not have “legal, political or moral authority to be sanctioning people around the world.”

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Thursday sanctions against an official and special brigade for what they deemed as human rights abuses against demonstrators earlier this month. ‘

The Treasury Department listed Alvaro Lopez Miera, a Cuban military and political leader, and the Brigada Especial Nacional del Ministerio del Interior, or Interior Ministry Special Brigade, as among those who will face the latest sanctions.

But Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez dismissed the sanctions against Lopez Miera as “irrelevant,” saying he lacks bank accounts in the U.S. or interest in visiting the country.

Cuban-Americans have also announced a civilian flotilla will leave Florida Friday morning and come close to Cuban territorial waters in a display of support for anti-government protesters.

Rodríguez said the U.S. should “act seriously in order to avoid incidents that are in nobody’s interest.”

Treasury said in a statement that Lopez Miera “has played an integral role in the repression of ongoing protests in Cuba.” Cuba’s Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, which is led to by Lopez Miera, and other Cuban government’s security services have attacked protesters and arrested or disappeared over 100 protesters in an attempt to suppress these protests, according to Treasury.

Protests began Sunday 11 July when thousands of Cubans marched along the Malecon and elsewhere to protest food and medicine shortages, power outages and some even calling for political change.

The government headed by President Miguel Díaz-Canel acted swiftly and violently, to quell the protests.

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