Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez slammed the new US sanctions on his Twitter account, following an announcement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday that Washington was adding seven new entities to a list of sanctions.
“I strongly reject sanctions announced by Secretary Pompeo against 7 entities of Cuba, designed to affect Cuban families. Shamefully and criminally tightening the blockade during COVID19,” Rodriguez tweeted on Thursday.
Pompeo only identified one of the entities, “financial institution FINCIMEX,” which he said “controls the flow of hard currency that belongs to the Cuban people.”
The other targeted entities were unnamed hotels, scuba-diving centers, and a marine park for tourists.
Cuba and the US had severed relations in 1961 during the Cold War, two years after the two countries became ideological foes following the Cuban Revolution, which brought the late Fidel Castro to power.
In July 2015, the US under ex-President Barack Obama restored diplomatic relations with Cuba. However, his successor, Donald Trump, began to partially roll back the historic rapprochement as soon as he took office in early 2017.
The US has also stepped up its sanctions against Cuba as a punishment for its support for the legitimately-elected government in Venezuela.
Washington seeks to overthrow the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.