“Castro is responsible for Cuba’s actions to prop up the former Maduro regime in Venezuela through violence, intimidation, and repression,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
In addition to Castro, the State Department also sanctioned his children, Alejandro Castro Espin, Deborah Castro Espin, Mariela Castro Espin, and Nilsa Castro Espin.
The measures that Pompeo said would block their entry to the United States are likely to have limited impact. Castro last visited in 2015 to address the United Nations, General Assembly. His children are also believed to have rarely traveled to the United States. Mariela Castro Espin, a gay rights activist, made stops in New York and San Francisco in 2012.
Pompeo also accused Castro, Cuba’s most powerful figure, of overseeing “a system that arbitrarily detains thousands of Cubans and currently holds more than 100 political prisoners.”
The Cuban government, which strongly rejects such accusations, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.