U.S. to expel majority of Cuban embassy staff

Cuba has a week to remove 15 diplomats from the embassy in Washington, D.C.as the mysterious attacks on US diplomats in Cuba continue, the State Department announced Tuesday.

Tillerson said the U.S.is maintaining diplomatic relations and will cooperate with Cuba while the investigation continues.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the latest decision was made due to Cuba's "failure to take appropriate steps" to protect American personnel in Cuba who have been targeted in mysterious "attacks" that have damaged their health. "This is to ensure that there is an equitable impact to our embassies' ability to operate, and to underscore to the Cubans that they must take more action to protect our people on the ground", the official said.

"This order will ensure equity in our respective diplomatic operations".

The attacks, which U.S. officials initially suggested could have come from some sort of covert acoustic device, have affected at least 22 USA embassy staff in Havana over the past few months.

The mysterious attacks on embassy personnel reportedly caused dizziness, hearing loss, and fatigue.

USA relations with Havana were only fully restored in 2015, and have deteriorated since President Donald Trump took office in January.

Twenty-two US personnel have experienced health issues in Cuba.

Cuba has denied responsibility for any attacks, and has launched an investigation.

Although several Canadian personnel were also affected this year, the federal government says the attacks have apparently stopped; there have been no incidents since the spring; the Cuban government has been co-operative in investigating the incidents; and there is no change in policy. It wasn't immediately clear late Monday how Cuban diplomats will have to leave Washington to bring the two countries' rosters to parity.

While the move is described as an "expulsion", the US isn't declaring them "persona non grata" - a designation that would prevent them from ever returning, according to a State Department official.

Last week, the State Department removed most of its staff from the USA embassy in Havana, unable to guarantee residents' safety.

Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio, an outspoken critic of the Havana regime, has demanded that, until those responsible for the attacks are found, Washington should expel the same number of Cuban diplomats as Americans it is pulling from Havana.

The ministry said USA "specialised agencies" visited Havana three times, in June, August and September.

The US as well issued a travel warning for Americans thinking of visiting the communist-run island.

Diplomats in Havana that handle American citizen services, analyze Cuba's political system and handle outreach to the island's dissident community were also leaving.

U.S. officials previously told reporters they believed some kind of inaudible sound weapon was used on the USA staff either inside or outside their residences in Havana.

However, in a statement, Secretary Tillerson was clear that the US was not accusing Cuba of being responsible for the attacks and that the two countries were cooperating as the USA investigates.

"The first disturbing reports of piercing, high-pitched noises and inexplicable ailments pointed to someone deliberately targeting the United States government's intelligence network on the communist-run island in what seemed like a bone-chilling escalation of the tit-for-tat spy games that Washington and Havana have waged over the last half century", the AP three declared.


Popular
  • Long surviving Kashmiri terrorist killed at LoC

    Long surviving Kashmiri terrorist killed at LoC

    Najar came to the limelight after the attacks on mobile towers and killings of six civilians in Sopore and its adjacent villages. At that time hitherto, unknown Lashkar- e-Islam posters surfaced in the town considered as the support base of Geelani.

    Amit Shah calls out Rahul Gandhi on 'dynasty politics'

    He said that initiatives such as Swachh Bharat had become a movement of public welfare because of mass participation. A robust organisation at the grass root level will help the government reach out directly to the people", said A.K.
    Veep wins best comedy at 2017 Emmys

    Veep wins best comedy at 2017 Emmys

    In the star packed song, Louis-Dreyfus sang about sang how nice it would be to have a president who 'was not beloved by Nazis'. The political satire comedy show even managed to replace " Modern Family " on the Emmy stage in the best-comedy category.
  • How to watch the New Orleans Saints at Miami Dolphins

    How to watch the New Orleans Saints at Miami Dolphins

    They gave up over 300 passing yards two weeks ago against the Chargers and nearly 250 yards last week against the New York Jets . Meanwhile, the Saints (1-2) notched their first victory of the season with an impressive victory over the Carolina Panthers.
    Leading Off: Red Sox, Rockies try to clinch, Stanton near 60

    Leading Off: Red Sox, Rockies try to clinch, Stanton near 60

    Houston is one game behind Cleveland for the AL's best record, and there's little mystery about what's made the Astros so good. The concept of a bullpen game in the postseason may seem far-fetched but so is expecting to win with Porcello or Fister.
    U.S.  enforces travel restrictions for North Korea, Venezuela

    U.S. enforces travel restrictions for North Korea, Venezuela

    Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia were left on the list of affected countries in a new proclamation issued by the president. Days ago, the USA president called for a "tougher" travel ban after a bomb partially exploded on a London subway.
  • Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) One of Today's Biggest Losers - Down $4.79

    Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) One of Today's Biggest Losers - Down $4.79

    Wedbush Securities Inc. lifted its stake in Darden Restaurants by 0.5% in the second quarter. (NYSE: DRI ) for 23,662 shares. The company's shares were given away at $91.69 per share worth to an income of some $3,401,699 on account of George David C.
    Newcastle United head to Brighton and Hove Albion after major mood change

    Newcastle United head to Brighton and Hove Albion after major mood change

    A back injury means Steve Sidwell remains unavailable, while Beram Kayal is a long-term absentee having broken his leg. It could have gone so differently, but it didn't through a lot of hard work from everyone involved.
    'That was an anticlimax' - Leeds United fans react to EFL's latest reveal

    'That was an anticlimax' - Leeds United fans react to EFL's latest reveal

    Wood cost a Burnley club record £15million, while Taylor's fee will be decided by a tribunal as his contract expired. The team sacked the Premier League winning manager, Claudio Ranieri about halfway through the season past year .
  • Nightmare for Manchester City As Sergio Aguero Injured In Serious Car Accident

    Manchester City held off Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 to win their second straight game to open Group F. The news poses huge problems for Guardiola, who is now without a dedicated left back.
    Large swells on East Coast as Maria heads north

    Large swells on East Coast as Maria heads north

    The National Weather Service in Morehead City, North Carolina, said significant beach erosion is expected north of Cape Lookout. Hurricane Maria lashed the Turks and Caicos islands over the weekend after killing at least 32 in Puerto Rico and Dominica.
    WHO Confirms Serious Lack of New Antibiotics to Combat Resistant Pathogens

    WHO Confirms Serious Lack of New Antibiotics to Combat Resistant Pathogens

    An example of this drug-resistant tuberculosis , a disease for which no drug has yet been developed. Of the 33 potential drugs to treat these priority pathogens , only eight are new treatments.

CONNECT