The United States Restricts Entry to Five Cuban Officials Due to the 11J Protests

The sentences of the 11J (July 11th) protesters in La Güinera are still among the most severe. (Capture)

14ymedio biggerEFE (vía 14ymedio), Washington/Havana, 17 June 2022 — The United States Government announced on Thursday that it has taken measures to impose restrictions on the visas of five unidentified Cuban officials due to their links to the trials and imprisonment of demonstrators who took part in the protests of July 11, 2021 (11J) on the island.

In a statement, the State Department headed by Antony Blinken announced the sanctions, which respond to Presidential Proclamation 5377, by which the United States can suspend the entry into the country of Cuban government officials and employees.

According to the statement, these five officials are linked to “unfair trials” and the sentences and imprisonment of Cuban protestors who took to the streets on July 11, 2021.

The U.S. Government claimed that the Cuban authorities “deny citizens their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The incident occurred almost at the same time that the Attorney General’s Office issued a new statement reporting four final judgments against 33 11J participants who had appealed.

Of these, “30 were punished with prison sentences (20 are between five and ten years, and 10 are between ten and 18 years), while two were sentenced to correctional work without internment and one to limitation of liberty.”

The sentences were handed down on June 14 and 15 for people convicted of sedition, sabotage and public disorder in Havana and Mayabeque.

One of the judicial appeals reduced the sentences to up to 15 years in prison for 17 people who demonstrated in the Havana neighborhood of La Güinera, but the sentences were so harsh that  they still face a high number of years in prison, a total of 206, with individual cases of up to 17 years.

As reported by the Prosecutor’s Office three days ago, the country’s courts have issued 76 final sentences against 381 people for the protests, not counting those it announced on Thursday.

The NGO Prisoners Defenders pointed out on June 8 that a total of 168 protesters have been prosecuted for the crime of sedition alone, and 246 have final prison sentences of 10 years or more.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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