The United States on Friday imposed new sanctions on Cuba over its support for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and its human rights record at home.
The Department of Commerce said in a statement it is revoking existing licenses for aircraft leases to Cuban state-owned airlines and will deny future applications for aircraft leases. It will also expand the sanctions on Cuba to include more foreign goods containing U.S. contents.
Washington said the measures seek to hold the Cuban regime accountable for repressing its own people and for providing support to the Venezuela’s government, which it accuses of human rights abuses and collapsing the country’s economy.
“This action by the Commerce Department sends another clear message to the Cuban regime – that they must immediately cease their destructive behavior at home and abroad,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel rejected the decision and in Twitter called it “inhumane, cruel, unfair and genocidal.”
Relations between Cuba and the U.S. have deteriorated under President Donald Trump. His administration has restricted travel to the island and imposed new economic sanctions.