Thu, 25 Feb 2021

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Friday designated the Cuban Ministry of Interior and its head over allegations of human rights abuse.

"The United States will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to address the dire human rights situation in Cuba and elsewhere around the world," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

According to the statement, all property and interests of the property of the designated individual and entity in the United States have been blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from transactions with them.

The latest move came days after the Trump administration added Cuba to the list of "State Sponsor of Terrorism," which aimed to constrain the incoming Joe Biden administration's efforts to improve relations with Havana.

"We condemn the U.S. announced hypocritical and cynical designation of #Cuba as a State sponsoring terrorism. The U.S. political opportunism is recognized by those who are honestly concerned about the scourge of terrorism and its victims," Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez tweeted.

U.S.-Cuba ties have significantly deteriorated in recent years as the Trump administration stepped up economic sanctions and sought to block Havana's support to the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whom Washington is openly seeking to oust from power.

President-elect Joe Biden previously slammed Trump's policies on Cuba, saying he would "try to reverse the failed Trump policies that inflicted harm on Cubans and their families."

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