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US imposes sanctions on the Cuban defense minister because of his support for the President of Venezuela

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The United States imposed sanctions on Thursday on the Cuban defense minister, accusing him of human rights violations and supporting Venezuelan Socialist President Nicholas Maduro, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

Washington included the Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba Leopoldo Cintra Frias and his two sons, Deborah Sintra Gonzalez and Leopoldo Sintra Gonzalez, on the sanctions list, in the latest move targeting Havana because of its support for Maduro.

Pompeo said that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba had participated in the torture of people from Venezuela and subjected them to “cruel and inhuman treatment or punished them for their anti-Maduro stances” and the same was done by Maduro’s army and intelligence officers.

Sanctions prevent Sintra and his two sons from entering the United States.

The Cuban embassy in Washington was not available for comment.

“Sintra, being the minister of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces, bears responsibility for Cuba’s actions in support of the Maduro regime … in Venezuela,” Pompeo said.

“Eliminating democracy in Venezuela by intimidating Venezuelans to compel them to submit is the goal of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba and the Cuban regime,” Pompeo added.

The United States and more than 50 other countries have recognized the leader of the opposition, Juan Guaido, as the legitimate president of the country, and Guaido relied on the constitution to take over the presidency last year and described Maduro’s election again in 2018 as invalid.

But Maduro has the support of the military and runs government duties on a daily basis, as do Russia, China and Cuba.

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