Biden To Announce New Sanctions On Cuba Following Widespread Protests

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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President Joe Biden will reportedly announce new sanctions against the Cuban regime Thursday following recent protests for democracy across the country.

The new sanctions will specifically target officials within the Cuban government, according to Politico. Biden will also reportedly call for more international pressure against the regime of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel as well as announce measures to increase internet access on the island.

Biden’s plan will extend targeted sanctions of the Magnitsky Act, which was originally passed to pressure the Russian government before being expanded to include other authoritarian regimes, Politico reports.

Many Republicans and some Florida Democrats have pressured Biden to crack down further on the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).

“This is huge,” Miami-based Democratic activist Sasha Tirador told Politico. “No administration has ever announced that they will hold each individual who violates human rights on the island of Cuba accountable.” (RELATED: As Blame Flies For Cuba’s Protests, One Major Factor Seems To Go Unmentioned)

Biden’s plan stands in direct opposition to much of the progressive wing of his party, which has called on the United States to end its decades-long embargo on Cuba.

“The ‘most progressive president since FDR’ won’t end a genocidal blockade,” tweeted The Nation’s Aída Chávez following reports of the new sanctions. Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are among those who have attributed Cuba’s dire economic straits to the American sanctions regime.

The socialist Cuban government’s oppression was thrust back into the spotlight earlier this month when thousands of protestors took to the streets in numerous cities across the country to voice opposition to COVID-19 vaccine inaccessibility, basic supply shortages and restriction of civil liberties by the PCC. The Biden administration initially framed the protests as simply a response to hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, despite clear anti-communist, pro-freedom messaging emerging from many of the protesters on the ground.

Cuban authorities said many of the demonstrators who were detained in the protests would be prosecuted.