03:04 GMT03 March 2021
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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla on Friday condemned new US sanctions against the Latin American country's interior ministry and its chief, Lazaro Alberto Alvarez Casas, describing them as illegitimate.

    Earlier in the day, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said that Washington had imposed sanctions against the Cuban Ministry of Internal Affairs and its head under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act over "serious human rights abuse." US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the Cuban ministry of overseeing the torture of political prisoners.

    "I denounce Trump's gov inclusion of Cuban individuals and entities in unilateral and illegitimate lists as a coercive measure against our country," the minister tweeted.

    The top Cuban diplomat added that Trump's attempts to single out the Latin American country are by "a regime that is leaving a legacy of isolation and defeat in foreign policy."

    Cuban-US relations have long been at loggerheads and have soured under US President Donald Trump's administration. The US leader toughened policy once he took office in 2016, restricting travel, boosting the economic embargo and imposing sanctions on Raul Castro, Cuba's Communist Party leader, over alleged human rights violations and for supporting the Venezuelan leadership.

    Earlier in January, Cuba was restored to a US list of state sponsors of terrorism after being removed from the list by then-President Barack Obama in 2015. Parrilla called the Trump administration's move hypocritical and cynical, and accused Washington of political opportunism.


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