Dec. 22 (UPI) -- The Trump administration has separately leveled sanctions against Nicaraguan government officials and businesses controlled by the Cuban military.
The Treasury announced the sanctions Monday, saying the three Nicaraguan government officials were being targeted for supporting the Caribbean nation's president, Daniel Ortega, and the three Cuban businesses were being blacklisted for their ties to the government and their utilization to subvert international trade restrictions.
The Ortega government has repeatedly been the subject of U.S. sanctions by the Trump administration since its bloody and deadly crack down on peaceful protesters demonstrating against proposals to raise taxes and lower pensions in April 2018.
The Treasury said Monday it blacklisted Marvin Ramiro Aguilar Garcia, vice president of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court of Justice; Walmaro Antonio Gutierrez Mercado, a deputy of the National Assembly; and Fidel de Jesus Dominguez Alvarez, a chief of the Nicaraguan National Police in the city of Leon.
It said those three individuals "are responsible for coopting judicial of financial reporting mechanisms to support the Ortega regime's systematic identification, intimidation and punishment of political opposition."
"President Ortega and his regime prioritize personal gain and power over Nicaraguans' calls for reform." Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. "This administration remains committed to targeting the Ortega regime by seeking out and exposing those who continue to suppress the democratic will of the Nicaraguan people."
According to the Congressional Research Service, Nicaragua "turned to authoritarian practices" in 2018 and the Trump administration has since employed targeted sanctions against those close to the 75-year-old Ortega over allegations of committing human rights abuses.
The Treasury and the State Department on Monday also sanctioned Cuban company Grupo de Administracion Empresarial and two of its subsidiaries, Financiera Cimex and Kave Coffee.
The federal department accused GAESA in a statement of being a military-controlled umbrella enterprise with interests in the tourism, financial investment and several other sectors of Cuba's economy with a portfolio of businesses incorporated in Panama to evade sanctions.
"The Trump administration remains committed to targeting the Cuban regime for its malign behavior and attempts to circumvent United States sanctions," Mnuchin said in a separate statement.
Pompeo said the revenue generated from Cuban military companies "is used to entrench the Cuban military's control, prop up the Cuban Communist Party's power, oppress the Cuban people and fund Cuba's interference in Venezuela."
The Trump administration has taken a decidedly different stance to Cuba than that of the Obama administration, which sought to open engagement with the neighboring socialist nation.
Under President Donald Trump, the United States has imposed punitive sanctions against the Caribbean island nation over its human rights abuses and actions to prop up embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
"The United States will continue to support the Cuban people in their desire for a democratic government and respect for human rights, including freedom of religion, expression and association," Pompeo said. "Until these rights and freedoms are respected, we will continue to hold the regime accountable."