Engage Cuba works for normalization of relations between Washington and Havana. Photo: Google
Havana, November 15 (RHC)-- James Williams, president of Engage Cuba coalition has strongly criticized the U.S. government’s latest decision to further expand the list of Cuban entities and sub-entities restricted to US citizens.
The U.S. State Department announced on Wednesday that 26 new sub-entities were added to the original list of restricted Cuban entities released on November 8, 2017, as part of the Donald Trump administration’s measures to further tighten travel and trade restrictions on the Caribbean state.
The measure aims to prevent U.S. citizens from making direct financial transactions with these Cuban bodies, a measure that both Cuba and critics described as arbitrary.
Referring to the measure, the head of Engage Cuba questioned why, after more than 50 years of Washington's failed blockade policy, ‘failure is still doubling.'
Ben Rhodes, who was deputy national security advisor to former President Barack Obama, said in a tweet that these sanctions will not lead to the changes Washington wants in Cuba. “There is one hundred percent certainty that the U.S. blockade is affecting the Cuban people. What a sick and stupid policy,” added Rhodes, a key person in the bilateral approach process that started during Obama’s second term.
The news of adding new names to the list was announced on November 1 by Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, who in an aggressive speech in Miami addressed the aim of continuing to take actions against Cuba, as well as against Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Engage Cuba issued a statement that day stating that the decision seeks to reward ‘a dwindling minority of US citizens who remain wed to a failed policy.
Engage Cuba is the leading coalition of private companies and organizations working to end the travel and trade blockade on Cuba. In that sense, the organization is working to expand support throughout the United States, while also facilitating relationships between U.S. businesses and Cuba and lobbying Congress to lift Washington's coercive policy.
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