The fragile relations between Cuba and the United States have furthered worsened with POTUS Joe Biden imposing sanctions on Cuba’s defense minister and the communist nation’s special forces brigade for the suppression of’’ peaceful protests’’ in the island nation last week. The move marked the first concrete steps by Joe Biden’s administration to apply pressure on Cuba’s Communist government as it faces calls from US lawmakers and the Cuban American community to show greater support for the biggest protests to hit the island in decades, reported The Guardian. The speed with which the administration has crafted new sanctions further signals Biden is highly unlikely to soften the US approach to Cuba any time soon after his predecessor, Donald Trump, rolled back a historic Obama-era détente with Havana, the English daily added.
Cuba has accused the Biden administration for promoting nationwide protests. Thousands of protestors last week came out on the streets following the hardships caused due to the Covid-19 crippled economy resulting in food and power shortages in the island nation home to about 12 million people. Announcing the sanctions, President Biden warned Cuba’s government saying “this is just the beginning”. It has obviously not gone down well with the oligarchic authorities in Havana. It may be recalled Cuba and the United States restored diplomatic relations on 20 July 2015 at the instance of the then POTUS Barak Obama. The relations between the two nations remained severed since 1961 during the Cold War. The United States, however, continues to maintain its commercial, economic, and financial embargo, making it illegal for U.S. corporations to do business with Cuba. Communist Cuba has long been a major foreign policy challenge for the United States. The bilateral relationship thawed considerably under President Obama, but many restrictions were reimposed by the Trump administration. The United States and Cuba had strained relationships for more than sixty years following the overthrow of the U.S.-backed government by Fidel Castro. As CNN says The Biden Administration has singled out Cuban Defense Minister Alvaro Lopez Miera for having played an integral role in the repression of ongoing protests in the Latin American nation. The sanctions prohibit payments from entities in the United States to Lopez Miera and the special forces as well as payments from the Cuban entities to the U.S. Picture courtesy : Yamil Lage | AFP | Getty .