President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence announced new sanctions against Cuba during an event memorializing veterans of the “Bay of Pigs” operation on Wednesday.
Trump reiterated that the U.S. will not lift sanctions until the Cuban regime grants certain freedoms to its people, and Pence announced that the administration is drafting new sanctions against the regime to be levied in the near future. The sanctions will prohibit U.S. travelers from staying at properties owned by the Cuban government, as well as further restricting the import of Cuban alcohol and tobacco.
“We will not lift sanctions until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly are respected, all political parties are legalized, and free elections are scheduled,” Trump said.
Honoring veterans of the failed 1961 #BayofPigs invasion, @POTUS expresses appreciation for the group’s “official endorsement” and expresses his “ironclad solidarity with the Cuban people.” pic.twitter.com/ue7ZoQ4zuR
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) September 23, 2020
Trump and Pence appeared at the event with 23 veterans of the Bay of Pigs invasion, a U.S.-supported but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro’s regime in April 1961. (RELATED: Trump Allows Lawsuits Against Foreign Companies In Cuba, Rolls Back Obama-Era Policies)
Trump canceled President Barack Obama’s decision to end sanctions against Cuba in June 2017.
“Effectively immediately, I am canceling the previous administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba,” Trump said at the time. “Our policy begins by strictly enforcing US Law. We will not lift the sanctions on the Cuban regime until all political prisoners are freed, freedoms of assembly and expression are respected, all political parties are legalized, and free and internationally supervised elections are scheduled.”
Trump on Wednesday vowed yet again that the U.S. would never be a socialist or communist country. Trump has repeatedly argued that a victory for former Vice President Joe Biden in November would be a victory for communist regimes, including Cuba.
“China isn’t the only communist regime that would like to see Joe Biden in the White House,” the Trump campaign said in May. “This weekend, the Cuban government announced its endorsement of Joe Biden, expressing hope that President Trump will lose in November.”