MIAMI (CBSMiami) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions Thursday on Cuba’s former dictator Raul Castro for supporting the Venezuelan regime of Nicolas Maduro and his involvement in “gross human rights violations and abuses.”
Castro and his four children will be hit with a travel ban.
Pompeo’s statement read in part:
“As First Secretary of Cuba’s Armed Forces, Castro is responsible for Cuba’s actions to prop up the former Maduro regime in Venezuela through violence, intimidation, and repression,”
“In concert with Maduro’s military and intelligence officers, members of the Cuban security forces have been involved in gross human rights violations and abuses in Venezuela, including torture.”
“We will continue to pursue all diplomatic and economic tools to help the Venezuela people achieve the transition they deserve.”
Though Castro is no longer the president of the island nation, he remains at the top of the Cuban Communist Party.
Meanwhile, Maduro visited Russia on Wednesday where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Maduro presented Putin with a replica of Simon Bolivar’s sword.
The Venezuelan mandatary said it was a “Token of appreciation for his support of Venezuela and for his respect for our sovereignty and the self-determination of the Venezuelan people.”
Pompeo is the 70th US Secretary of State. He served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from January 2017 until April 2018.