By Caribbean News Global
WASHINGTON, USA – The United States announced it is imposing sanctions on the Cuban Ministry of Interior (MININT) and minister of interior General Lazaro Alberto Álvarez Casas for their connection to serious human rights abuse under Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
Cuba’s response to “unilateral measures adopted against the island” declared: “Without presenting any evidence, the pretext for this action is the alleged responsibility of the minister of that ministry, General Lázaro Álvarez Casas, in alleged violations of human rights, a pretext that the US government repeatedly uses to justify its actions against countries that do not surrender to its dictates.”
US Department of State said in a release: “MININT is designated for being responsible for, complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse. As minister of MININT, Álvarez Casas is also designated for being or having been a leader or official of an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse. Specialized units of MININT’s state security branch are responsible for monitoring political activity, and Cuba’s police support these security units by arresting persons of interest to MININT. In September 2019, Cuban dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer was held in a MININT-controlled prison in Cuba, where he reported being beaten, abused, and held in isolation. Ferrer received no medical attention while in prison and was not allowed to read or write.”
US Department of State said Ferrer’s case is just one example of the systematic and daily abuse that the regime’s interior ministry inflicts on the Cuban people.
“ The Cuban regime holds more than 100 political prisoners and ministry officials have overseen the torture of many of those detainees. Álvarez Casas, in his role as the vice minister of MININT before his promotion to his current position in November 2020, is complicit in harassing and surveilling journalists, dissidents, activists, and members of civil society groups, including most recently the members of the peaceful San Isidro Movement,” the release added, “The United States supports the Cuban people’s just aspirations for democracy, prosperity, and respect for their human rights, and we are implementing this designation in support of those aspirations.”