Drawing attention to police violence in the United States, the Secretary of State added: “He should instead apply to himself the Global Magnitsky Act of the systematic repression and police brutality that killed 1,021 people in 2020.”
Jane Psaki, the White House press secretary, called the sanctions among a range of responses Biden might deploy to help Cubans grappling with government repression and a growing humanitarian crisis. “Dealing with this moment was a priority for the administration,” she said.
As Vice President during the Obama administration, Biden oversaw the policy He restored full diplomatic relations with Cuba For the first time in more than half a century. But he has taken a tougher stance as president, one that has been generally warmly welcomed by members of Congress — including some Democrats who have been embarrassed by siding with President Donald J. Trump’s policy of containing Cuba’s communist government.
Cubans are becoming increasingly frustrated with their government amid an economic crisis that has included this Food scarcity, power outages, spiraling inflation and the increasing number of Covid-19 deaths. For its part, the Cuban government blamed the United States for imposing a trade embargo and, last week, accused American officials of fomenting unrest.
“Our message could not be clearer: The United States stands with the people of Cuba and there will be consequences for those with blood on their hands,” said Senator Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey and chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations. He said on Twitter. Mr Biden is “absolutely right to hold the Cuban regime responsible for trying violently to crush the hopes and dreams of Cubans.”
The State Department is also considering whether it will allow people in the United States to send money to relatives and friends in Cuba through a money transfer process that government officials in previous cases have used who appropriated a portion of the money. State Department spokesman Ned Price said this week that the Biden administration was considering how to get the money “straight into the hands of the Cuban people.”
In addition, Mr. Price said, the department may increase the number of US diplomats at the US Embassy in Havana, as the Trump administration has set the number of staff to a minimum. It is not clear when or whether the Biden administration will move forward on either front.
Ernesto London And Frances Robles Contribute to the preparation of reports.