The US slapped sanctions on two Cuban officials and a military unit on Friday, marking the Biden administration’s third round of Cuba sanctions since anti-government protests took place in the country in July.
The US Treasury Department said the measures targeted two officials in Cuba’s Ministry of Interior, and the Tropas de Prevencion, a military unit under Cuba’s Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces.
Considering Cuba has been under a US embargo for over 60 years, sanctions on the country’s government officials and military have virtually no impact. But the measures do symbolize that the Biden administration has no plans to ease sanctions on Cuba or take steps towards normalization with Havana.
The Obama administration eased some restrictions on Cuba, but since the trade embargo wasn’t fully lifted, they were easily reversed by Trump. As a candidate, President Biden vowed to return to an Obama-era Cuba policy, but he doesn’t seem to have any plans to fulfill that promise.
One simple way Biden could help people in Cuba is by lifting sanctions on remittances, which would make it easier for Cuban-Americans to send money to their families. Western Union shut down its money sending service to Cuba last November due to sanctions imposed by the Trump administration. Biden has said he’s setting up a “working group” on Cuba remittances, but so far, nothing has changed.