07/22/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/22/2021 15:57
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the Biden Administration announced it would continue its efforts to support Cuba's pro-democracy movement by imposing additional targeted sanctions on regime officials for their human rights abuses:
'Government is an instrument of the people, not an instrument to be used against its own citizens. Yet, since July 11, the Díaz Canel regime has relied on internet blackouts and brute force in an effort to beat the Cuban people into silence and submission.
'I want to thank President Biden for his willingness to seek my counsel and that of the people on and off the island who help promote democracy, human rights and civil society in Cuba. This new wave of targeted sanctions on regime officials represents another essential step to put the dictatorship on notice for persecuting the pro-democracy movement on the island. The message today could not be clearer: The United States stands with the people of Cuba and there will be consequences for those with blood on their hands. I look forward to working with the Administration to levy additional sanctions against those who insist on violating the human rights of the Cuban people.
'Beyond the bipartisan statements of support, President Biden's concrete actions demonstrate that his administration- and all us who believe in a democratic Cuba- are of one voice, not divided by personal politics, but united by a deep belief that the people of Cuba should be free to choose how they live and who governs them. As the Cuban people continue raising their voices, the United States will be relentless in supporting their efforts to fully realize their aspirations for democracy and freedom.'