The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced on Thursday sanctions against former Cuban President Raúl Castro for “serious human rights violations” in Cuba and Venezuela, where he supports the Government of Nicolás Maduro.
“Today, we have appointed Raúl Castro and his immediate family for their involvement in serious violations of Human Rights. The lack of respect of the Cuban regime for Human Rights and their use of violence to help the former Maduro regime are responsible for the current crises in Cuba and Venezuela, “Pompeo has summed up in his official Twitter account.
Already in a statement released by the State Department, Pompeo has argued that, “as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), Raúl Castro oversees a system that arbitrarily detains thousands of Cubans and currently has more than one hundred political prisoners “.
In addition, “as the first secretary of the Armed Forces of Cuba, Castro is responsible for the actions of Cuba to underpin the old Maduro regime in Venezuela through violence, intimidation and repression.”
The head of US diplomacy has denounced that, “in concert with the Maduro military and intelligence agents, members of the Cuban security forces have been implicated in serious violations of Human Rights in Venezuela, including torture.”
“Castro is complicit in undermining democracy in Venezuela and unleashing the largest humanitarian crisis in the hemisphere forcing 15 percent of the Venezuelan population to leave their country and causing food shortages and a health crisis of unprecedented magnitude in this region.” , has detailed.
Pompeo has ratified that “the United States strongly supports the rights of the Cuban and Venezuelan peoples” and has stressed that “it will continue to use all economic and diplomatic tools to help the Venezuelan people achieve the transition it deserves.”
The sanctions also extend to Alejandro, Debora, Mariela and Nilsa Castro Espín, the four children of the former Cuban president, because US law allows us to act not only against the sanctioned but also against their direct family members.
With this decision, neither Castro nor his four children can enter the United States, the State Department said.
CUBA AND MATURO
Cuba is one of the few allies that Maduro has left in the region. The United States has already imposed sanctions on senior Venezuelan officials, including Maduro, for human rights violations, corruption and drug trafficking and has warned that the pressure will continue to increase.
Castro was in charge of the Presidency of Cuba between 2008, when he gave relief to his brother Fidel, and 2018, when he ceded the post to Miguel Díaz-Canel in a historic transition of power.
Since then, Castro remains only as head of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), a position in which he will remain until 2021 and that allows him to continue influencing the political life of the country.