US tightens sanctions on Cuba

WASHINGTON, DC, United States (CMC) – The Trump Administration on Wednesday added seven new sub-entities to the Cuba Restricted List, saying that these seven sub-entities “disproportionately benefit” the Administration in Havana.

The US Department of State accused the Cuban Government of using the profits from these businesses “to oppress the Cuban people and to fund its interference in Venezuela, at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba”.

Among the seven sub-entities are one military-controlled financial institution, three military-owned hotels, two military-owned scuba diving centres, and one military-owned marine park for tourists, the State Department said.

“In particular, the addition of financial institution FINCIMEX to the Cuba Restricted List will help address the regime’s attempts to control the flow of hard currency that belongs to the Cuban people,” the statement said. “The people should have the freedom to decide what to do with their own money.”

The State Department said the bulk of Cuba’s tourism industry is owned and operated by the Cuban military.

“We urge anyone who would visit the island to be a responsible consumer and avoid providing additional funds to the repressive and abusive Castro regime,” it said. “Instead, we urge that visitors to Cuba support the Cuban small business owners who struggle to succeed, despite the heavy restrictions placed upon them by the regime.

“The Cuban people deserve democratic government, freedom of speech and religion or belief, economic prosperity, and respect for human rights,” it added. “The United States stands with the Cuban people as you struggle to achieve this vision and look forward to the day when the dream of freedom becomes reality.”

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