The president of the Engage Cuba coalition, James Williams, has criticized the US Government's decision to extend as of today the list of Cuban companies restricted to US citizens.
The Department of State announced on Wednesday that 26 new sub-entities were added to the list released on November 8, 2017, as part of the Donald Trump administration's measures to further limit trade with Cuba and US citizens' travels.
Some 205 enterprises allegedly linked to the defense and national security sector will be on the list as of Thursday, thus preventing US citizens from making direct financial transactions with these bodies, a measure that has been described as arbitrary by the Cuban government.
The Trump administration releases the updated list of sanctioned entities in Cuba. It rearranges its deck chairs into a sinking ship, Williams wrote on Twitter.
The head of the coalition that defends the end to the blockade imposed by Washington on Cuba questioned why, after more than 50 years of that failed policy, 'failure is still doubling.
Ben Rhodes, who was deputy national security advisor to former President Barack Obama (2009-2017), also said in a tweet that these sanctions will not lead to the changes Washington wants in Cuba.
'There is one hundred percent certainty that the US blockade is affecting the Cuban people. What a sick and stupid policy,' added Rhodes, a key person in the bilateral approach process that started during Obama's second term.
The news of adding new names to the list was announced on November 1 by Trump's national security advisor, John Bolton, who in an aggressive speech in the southern state of Florida addressed the aim of continuing taking actions against the Caribbean island, as well as against Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Engage Cuba issued a statement that day stating that the decision seeks to reward 'a dwindling minority of US citizens who remain wed to a failed policy.
'The expansion of this list is another slap in some Cuban businessmen's face, whose restaurants, Airbnbs and other services have suffered during the past year, as US travel and investor confidence have declined,' Williams added.
It is ironic, he noted, that the government takes drastic measures under the pretext of 'protecting human rights' in Cuba, but at the same time praises Brazil's extremist president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro.
He noted that such a step shows the world the false nature of US human rights policy,' at a time when our allies' trust is already weakened.