Raul Castro, first Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (File photo)
Raul Castro, first Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (File photo)

US sanctions Cuba's Raul Castro for supporting Maduro regime in Venezuela

ANI | Updated: Sep 27, 2019 06:42 IST


Washington D.C. [USA], Sep 27 (ANI): The United States on Thursday (local time) imposed sanctions on Cuba's Raul Castro, along with his children, for supporting the government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.
"As First Secretary of Cuba's Armed Forces, Castro is responsible for Cuba's actions to prop up the former Maduro regime in Venezuela through violence, intimidation, and repression," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement, reiterating the Trump administration's position that Maduro is illegitimate.
"In concert with Maduro's military and intelligence officers, members of the Cuban security forces have been involved in gross human rights violations and abuses in Venezuela, including torture," Pompeo added.
The US, along with about 50 other countries, support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who in January declared himself as the interim president of the South American country, calling Maduro's 2018 re-election an illegitimate one.
Maduro, who maintains the support of Cuba, Russia and China, as well as Venezuela's state institutions, accuses Guaido and the US of attempting a coup.
The new sanctions will block Castro and his immediate family members, including his children, from entering the US, Pompeo said.
Pompeo also accused Castro, who is considered Cuba's most powerful figure, of overseeing "a system that arbitrarily detains thousands of Cubans and currently holds more than 100 political prisoners".
Castro is currently serving as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, the most senior position in the socialist state, succeeding his brother Fidel Castro in April 2011.
It was the latest in a series of punitive measures that the Trump administration has taken against Washington's old Cold War foe, steadily rolling back the historic opening to Havana under Trump's Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.
Washington has made it clear that a key objective of its pressure campaign is to force Cuba to abandon Maduro, something Havana has said it will never do.
Trump has stopped short of breaking off diplomatic relations with Cuba restored by Obama in 2015 after more than five decades of hostility. (ANI)

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