The U.S. Department of State has sanctioned Leopoldo Cintra Frias, Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, or MINFAR, for gross human rights violations. As a result of the designation, General Cintra Frias and his immediate family members, including his children, Deborah Cintra Gonzalez and Leopoldo Cintra Gonzalez, are ineligible for entry into the United States.
As head of MINFAR, Cintra Frias “bears responsibility for Cuba’s actions to prop up the former Maduro regime in Venezuela,” said Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. Alongside Nicolas Maduro’s military and intelligence officers, MINFAR has committed gross human rights violations in Venezuela. These abuses include subjecting Venezuelans who opposed Maduro to cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment. “Dismantling Venezuela’s democracy by terrifying Venezuelans into submission,” said Secretary Pompeo, “is the goal of MINFAR and the Cuban regime.”
Maduro has held control of Venezuela’s security forces only because of the support he receives from Cuba and Russia.The United States will cut off Cuba’s remaining sources of revenue in response to its intervention in Venezuela, vowed a senior State Department official.Already, the United States has eliminated visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels, such as cruise ships. The U.S. government also suspended scheduled air carrier service between the United States and all Cuban airports other than Havana. This will further prevent the Cuban regime from obtaining the resources it uses to support its repression of the Cuban people, and to fund its destructive intervention in Venezuela.
Meanwhile, countries in the region have taken action against the Cuban government’s trafficking in thousands of Cuban doctors, another scheme aimed at enriching the regime.Brazil insisted on paying Cuban doctors directly, and at a fair wage.In response, the Cuban regime withdrew its doctors from Brazil.Cuban doctors have also recently left Ecuador and Bolivia.
Clearly, the Cuban regime fears democracy, declared Secretary Pompeo. “We strongly encourage other governments and international organizations to continue promoting accountability for the Cuban regime for its involvement in violations or abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba and beyond.”