Due to harsh and unjust sentences handed down to peaceful protesters, the Department of State today took steps to impose visa restrictions on eight Cuban officials implicated in attempts to silence the voices of the Cuban people through repression, unjust detentions, and harsh prison sentences.

The Department implemented these targeted actions pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 5377, which suspends nonimmigrant entry into the United States of officers and employees of the Cuban government. These eight individuals include Cuban officials connected to the detention, sentencing, and imprisonment of peaceful July 11 protesters. The United States took steps to enforce visa restrictions in response to Cuban government attempts to deny Cubans their freedom and rights through continued intimidation tactics, unjust imprisonment, and severe sentences.

Approximately 600 protesters across the island remain jailed after the July 11 protests, some with worsening health conditions and no access to proper food, medicine, or calls to their loved ones.

These visa restrictions reinforce the U.S. commitment to supporting the Cuban people and promoting accountability for Cuban officials who enable the regime’s affront to democracy and human rights. These actions magnify the impact of four Treasury Department sanctions enacted since July 11 and the Department’s November 30 announcement of visa restrictions on nine Cuban officials connected to repression of November 15 activists. The United States continues to use all appropriate diplomatic and economic tools to push for the release of political prisoners and to support the Cuban people’s call for greater freedom and accountability.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future