Washington, January 3 - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the application of sanctions against the Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, Leopoldo Cintra Frias, for alleged human rights violations and for acting in support of the Venezuelan government authorities.
The designation is applied under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019.
The rule establishes that Cuban government officials and their families are not eligible to enter the United States.
Cintra Frías was sanctioned along with his two children, the statement said.
As part of the U.S. slander campaign of recent months, Pompeo also said that the Cuban military is complicit in oppressing the opposition in Venezuela.
"Together with the Armed Forces and intelligence officials of (Venezuelan President Nicolas) Maduro, the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba has been involved in serious human rights violations and abuses in Venezuela, including the torture or subjection of Venezuelans to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment for their anti-Maduro stance," the Secretary of State said cynically.
The new provision, beyond its practical effects, seems to be aimed at pleasing ultra-right-wing sectors that are holding the White House's policy against the small Caribbean island hostage.
This measure was also applied in September 2019 to Army General Raul Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party.
In a recent exclusive interview with the Nuevo Herald and the Miami Herald, a senior U.S. official commented that the United States will maintain its policy of "maximum pressure" on Cuba in 2020 and that it is finalizing new measures to continue depriving the Cuban government of revenue.(RHC)