The Department is publicly designating Leopoldo Cintra Frias, Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba (MINFAR), under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, due to his involvement, by command responsibility, in gross violations of human rights. Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign government officials have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.
The law also requires the Secretary of State to publicly or privately designate such officials and their immediate family members. In addition to the public designation of Leopoldo Cintra Frias, the Department is also publicly designating his children, Deborah Cintra Gonzalez and Leopoldo Cintra Gonzalez.
As Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, Cintra Frias bears responsibility for Cuba’s actions to prop up the former Maduro regime in Venezuela. Alongside Maduro’s military and intelligence officers, MINFAR has been involved in gross human rights violations and abuses in Venezuela, including torturing or subjecting Venezuelans to cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment for their anti-Maduro stances. Dismantling Venezuela’s democracy by terrifying Venezuelans into submission is the goal of MINFAR and the Cuban regime.
The international community can clearly see how fearful Cuba is of democracy – both for its own citizens and Venezuelans. 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, Venezuela, and beyond.