US slaps sanctions on Cuba


WASHINGTON: The United States imposed sanctions on Thursday on Cuba’s defense minister, accusing him of human rights violations and supporting socialist Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. Washington blacklisted Leopoldo Cintra Frias, minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba (MINFAR), and his children, Deborah Cintra Gonzalez and Leopoldo Cintra Gonzalez, in its latest action targeting Havana for its support of Maduro. Pompeo said MINFAR had been involved in the torture of Venezuelans and subjected them to “cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment for their anti- Maduro stances” alongside Maduro’s military and intelligence officers. The designation bars Cintra, a career military officer who joined Fidel Castro’s rebel army in 1957, and his children from entering the United States. The Cuban Embassy in Washington could not immediately be reached for comment. “As Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, Cintra Frias bears responsibility for Cuba’s actions to prop up the former Maduro regime in Venezuela,” Pompeo said.–Agencies