The Biden administration announced Thursday that they have levied sanctions against one Cuban individual and one Cuban entity after anti-government protests exploded across the island earlier this month.
In a press release, President Joe Biden said that "the United States stands with the brave Cubans who have taken to the streets to oppose 62 years of repression under a communist regime.”
The sanctions were brought by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) by implementing the Global Magnitsky Act to hold the Cuban regime accountable for violence, repression, and human rights violations.
The press release stated that the Cuban Minister of Defense and the Brigada Especial Nacional del Ministerio del Interior of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior were sanctioned "for their role in facilitating the repression of peaceful, pro-democratic protests in Cuba that began on July 11."
Politico reported that the Biden administration had faced pressure from activists who want them to help support the Cuban people.
The administration will look into reversing sanctions set by former President Donald Trump, who restricted travel, trade, and other forms of outreach for the island last year.
In 2015, then-President Barack Obama reestablished contact with Cuba when he relaxed economic restrictions, Politico reported.