On Wednesday, the Trump administration imposed economic sanctions on Cuban General Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja, head of the most powerful military business conglomerate on the island and son-in-law of former Cuban leader Raúl Castro, signaling him to act against the people of Cuba and Venezuela.
Rodríguez López-Calleja, head of Grupo de Administración Empresarial SA (GAESA) of Cuba, was included in the list of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, reported Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The agencies accused Rodríguez López-Calleja of helping to fund human rights abuses and working with Venzuela to suppress the freedom of Cubans.
“The income generated by GAESA’s economic activities is used to oppress the Cuban people and to finance Cuba’s parasitic and colonial domination over Venezuela,” Pompeo said.
“Today’s measure demonstrates the United States’ long-standing commitment to ending economic practices that disproportionately benefit the Cuban government or its military, intelligence, and security agencies or personnel at the expense of the Cuban and Venezuelan people.” he added.
The Trump administration has been increasing pressure on both Cuba and Venezuela as the U.S. general election draws near. The race for the White House is against President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Under the Obama Administration, 2020 Presidential nominee Biden was vice president when former President Barack Obama and Raul Castro eased sanctions on Cuba in an effort to improve US-Cuban relations.
Statement from the U.S. Department of State:
Today, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added Cuban national Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja (also known as López-Callejas) to OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons. Rodríguez López-Calleja is the head of the Cuban military-owned conglomerate Grupo de Administración Empresarial S.A. (GAESA).
All assets, property, and interests of property of Mr. Rodríguez López-Calleja that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction, including within the possession or control of U.S. persons, continue to be blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with him.
The revenue generated from the economic activities of GAESA is used to oppress the Cuban people and to fund Cuba’s parasitic, colonial domination of Venezuela. Today’s action demonstrates the United States’ long-standing commitment to ending economic practices that disproportionately benefit the Cuban government or its military, intelligence, and security agencies or personnel at the expense of the Cuban and Venezuelan people.
The United States will continue to support the Cuban people in their desire for a democratic government and respect for human rights, including freedom of religion, expression, and association. Until these rights and freedoms are respected, we will continue to hold the regime accountable.