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Cuban Americans participate in a demonstration in support of Cuban demonstrators in Miami (United States), July 21 | Photo: EFE / EPA / CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH / Gazeta do Povo

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions against Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) minister Álvaro López-Miera and an elite military unit known as the “black berets.”

The US Treasury Department announced in a statement the sanctions, which make those authorities responsible for cracking down on protests against the Cuban government on July 11.

López-Miera is a trusted man of former Cuban leader Raúl Castro, who also served as FAR minister for decades. “Black Berets” is the popular name for the elite unit known as the Home Office’s National Special Brigade.

The sanctions block all assets that López-Miera or members of this elite unit have under US jurisdiction and prohibit people in the United States from doing business with them.

“This is just the beginning: the United States will continue to impose sanctions against those responsible for the oppression of the Cuban people,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement.

The Treasury Department claimed that the ministry headed by López-Miera had played “a vital role” in suppressing protests in Cuba by “attacking demonstrators, arresting or eliminating more than 100 demonstrators in an effort to suppress them. demonstrations “.

Regarding the special brigade, the Treasury says that the Cuban regime mobilized it on July 11 to “suppress” the demonstrations and “attack the demonstrators”, which is why it considers the unit responsible for “serious human rights abuses. “.

The sanctions were imposed under the so-called Magnitsky Law, a US law that allows the United States to freeze financial assets and ban travel to those who violate human rights in any country of the world.

The measure shows Biden’s interest in tightening his policy towards Cuba after the protests, although during the election campaign he vowed to resume the process of merging with Cuba promoted by former President Barack Obama.