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Cuba’s Embassy In Paris Attacked With Petrol Bombs, As U.S. And Co Condemn Protest Crackdown

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Cuba's Embassy In Paris Attacked With Petrol Bombs, As U.S. And Co Condemn Protest Crackdown

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On July 27th, the Cuban Embassy in Paris said that the building had been attacked with petrol bombs, causing serious damage but no injuries to diplomatic staff.

“Those directly responsible for these acts are those who incite violence and hatred against our country”, the Cuban Foreign ministry said on Twitter.

Cuba has been rocked by protests against a deep economic crisis, the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and curbs on civil liberties, prompting the Communist-run country to restrict access to social media and messaging platforms.

On July 26th, the foreign ministers of the United States and 20 other countries condemned mass arrests in Cuba and called for full restoration of Internet access.

The joint statement was issued by the governments of Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Guatemala, Greece, Honduras, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Republic of Korea, and Ukraine, alongside the United States.

“Democracies around the world are coming together to support the Cuban people, calling on the Cuban government to respect Cubans’ demands for universal human rights,” said Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, referring to the group that included some of Cuba’s Latin American neighbors alongside former members and satellites of the Soviet Union.

Just days earlier, the US imposed sanctions on a Cuban security minister and an interior ministry special forces unit for alleged human rights abuses when quelling anti-government protests, earlier in July.

The Treasury Department said the sanctions had been placed on an entire Interior Ministry security unit and on General Alvaro Lopez Miera, minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, describing him as leader of an entity “whose members have engaged in serious human rights abuse.”

“This is just the beginning,” Biden said in a statement, expressing condemnation for “mass detentions and sham trials.”

“The United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people,” he said.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, in a message on Twitter, rejected the sanctions as “unfounded and slanderous” and urged the United States to apply such measures to its own record of “daily repression and policy brutality.”

Biden reiterated that his administration is looking for ways to help ordinary Cubans regain internet access after Havana restricted access to social media and messaging platforms including Facebook and WhatsApp.

“We will work closely with our partners throughout the region, including the Organization of American States, to pressure the regime,” Biden said.

The Cuban government has blamed the protests mostly on what it calls U.S.-financed “counter-revolutionaries” exploiting economic hardship caused by U.S. sanctions.

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