Sanctioning Cuban Officials in Response to Violence against Peaceful Protestors

The United States has imposed additional sanctions on Cuban military and security leaders in response to the Cuban regime’s continued violent suppression of freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly in the days and weeks following the protests on and after July 11.

The United States designated Andres Laureano Gonzalez Brito, Chief of the Central Army under the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR); Roberto Legra Sotolongo, Deputy Chief of the General Staff and Chief of the Directorate of Operations under MINFAR; and Abelardo Jimenez Gonzalez, Chief of the Directorate of Penitentiary Establishments of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior (MININT).  We are taking this action pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

Gonzalez Brito and Legra Sotolongo are senior officials under MINFAR, which has engaged in brutal actions to repress peaceful protestors.  Under Jimenez Gonzalez, the MININT Directorate of Prisons has held protestors without due process and in a number of cases has not disclosed prisoners’ whereabouts to family members.  There are credible reports of abuse of prisoners while in detention.

We stand in solidarity with every brave Cuban in their call for human rights and fundamental freedoms.  Through the Global Magnitsky sanctions program, the United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences for the Cuban regime’s ongoing repression of its people, including the unjust detentions of hundreds of protesters, journalists, and activists.  We will continue to provide support to Cubans as they seek to exercise human rights and fundamental freedoms, to which all individuals are entitled, and will take action to promote accountability for the Cuban government’s human rights abuses.