The U.S. Withdraws Staff from Cuba over Mysterious Attacks

The U.S. flag flaps in the stiff breeze off the Florida Straits at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, on March 22, 2016, as President Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meet inside with members of Cuban civil society. State Department photo/ Public Domain
The U.S. flag flaps in the stiff breeze off the Florida Straits at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, on March 22, 2016, as President Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meet inside with members of Cuban civil society. State Department photo/ Public Domain

The U.S. is pulling back half of its embassy staff from Cuba. The steps came in response to the continuous mysterious attacks against the US diplomats in Cuba over the last few months.

The United States has also warned its citizens not to visit Cuba. The State Department has warned the US citizens over some attacks in the hotels in Cuba.

Cuba has described the US decision as too ‘hasty’ and expressed its worry that it would affect bilateral relations. It expected the cooperation to continue, though.

According to the statement of the State Department, the affected individuals including at least 21 staffs and 2 Canadians have exhibited “a range of physical symptoms, including ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues, and difficulty sleeping.”

The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has assured that the diplomatic ties with Cuba will be maintained. He said the countries would carry on an investigation to shed more lights on the attacks.

Cuba denied any involvement with the attacks which is ‘sonic’ in nature according to some reports.

The State Department said, “Investigators have been unable to determine who is responsible or what is causing these attacks.”

The department has ordered the departure of “non-emergency personnel assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Havana, as well as all family members.”

The US has urged the Cuban authority to ensure safety for the diplomats or the US “Embassy will be reduced to emergency personnel in order to minimize the number of diplomats at risk of exposure to harm.”

The Department has issued a travel warning advising U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Cuba and informing them of our decision to draw down our diplomatic staff.

The State Department said, “We maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba, and our work in Cuba continues to be guided by the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. Cuba has told us it will continue to investigate these attacks and we will continue to cooperate with them in this effort.”

The sorts of attack the US diplomats have been confronting are mysterious and the State Department said it does not have “definitive answers on the cause or source of the attacks and is unable to recommend a means to mitigate exposure.”

 


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