On July 22 and again on July 30, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned several Cuban individuals and entities in connection with actions to suppress peaceful, pro-democratic protests in Cuba that began on July 11, 2021. According to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, “The Cuban people are protesting for the fundamental and universal rights they deserve from their government. Treasury will continue to enforce its Cuba-related sanctions … to support the people of Cuba in their quest for democracy and relief from the Cuban regime.” In separate remarks to the press, President Joseph Biden stated that the United States would “continue to add sanctions on individuals that carry out … the regime’s abuses.” The president also announced that he has directed the State Department and the Treasury Department to provide him within the next month recommendations of how to maximize the flow of remittances to the Cuban people “without the Cuban military taking their cut.”
The July 22, 2021 sanctions targeted the Cuban Minister of Defense Alvaro Lopez Miera and the Brigada Especial Nacional del Ministerio del Interior (SNB, and aka the Boinas Negras or Black Berets) of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior (MININT). According to OFAC, the minister of defense has played an “integral role in the repression of ongoing protests in Cuba.” Additional information on the designation and placement of this official and the SNB on OFAC’s SDN List is available here.
The July 30, 2021 sanctions targeted the Policia Nacional Revolucionaria (PNR) of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior, and Oscar Callejas Valcarce (Director of the PNR) and Eddy Sierra Arias (Deputy Director of the PNR). According to OFAC, the PNR has confronted and arrested peaceful demonstrators in Havana since the beginning of July 2021. Additional information on the designation and placement of the PNR and these two officials on OFAC’s SDN List is available here.
As a result of these sanctions, all property and interests in property of these persons and entities that are blocked pursuant to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 515 (CACR), continue to be blocked, and U.S. persons and others subject to U.S. jurisdiction are generally prohibited from dealing with or in property in which these Cuban officials and government agencies hold an interest.