U.S. State Department imposes visa restrictions on 28 Cuban officials

U.S. State Department imposes visa restrictions on 28 Cuban officials

HAVANA, July 9 (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department announced visa restrictions on Saturday against 28 Cuban officials that it said were implicated in a crackdown on peaceful protests in Cuba nearly one year ago.In a statement, the department said the restrictions would apply to high-ranking members of the Cuban Communist Party and officials who work in the country’s state communications and media sectors.

The State Department accused party officials of setting policies that subjected hundreds of people involved in the July 11, 2021, protests to violent and unjust detention,sham trials and decades-long prison sentences. The demonstrations were the biggest anti-government protests seen in the island in decades.

The Cuban government also employed “Internet throttling” to prevent people in Cuba from communicating with each other and blocking communications with the outside world, the department said.

“State media officials continue to engage in a campaign against jailed July 11, 2021, protesters and their family members who speak publicly about their loved ones’ cases,” the State Department said.

Washington imposed the visa restrictions under a Reagan-era policy that suspended non-immigrant entry to the United States by officers and employees of the Cuban government and the Cuban Communist Party.