The United States is not about to loosen its sanctions on Cuba. In fact, it’s preparing to tighten them in 2020 under its “maximum pressure” policy against the Spanish-speaking Caribbean island.
It’s reported that the US is finalizing new measures to further decrease the Cuban government’s income. “We’re looking for ways to restrict, restrict, restrict their freedom of action until they change their ways,” Michael Kozak, acting assistant secretary of state for Latin America, told the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.
Kozak said the US intends to squeeze activities that bring revenue to the Cuban government. This includes the medical services export program that brought more than $6 billion to the Cuban government in 2018.
He said the US will also restrict the number of flights to the island. The US launched a “maximum pressure” campaign in 2019 against the Cuban government in response to its support of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela and alleged human rights violations of Cubans on the island.
President Donald Trump has already banned cruising trips to the island and restricted remittances.
Cuban leader Raul Castro and his children, along with other officials and companies, involved in shipments of Venezuelan oil were sanctioned.
But although the Cuban government has acknowledged that US sanctions are hitting the economy hard, it still stands by Maduro.
Cuba’s appointed president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, said his country will respond to US meddling.