The United States has expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington. The U.S. has accused Cuba of failing to protect the U.S. diplomats’ safety in Havana.
The Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs has denounced the U.S. move. The outraged Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez called the move ‘Unjustified’.
The U.S. State Department Spokesperson told the press, “We are expelling the 15 Cubans today. They are not being declared persona non grata. And we expect them to leave within seven days.”
The new U.S. move to expel Cuban diplomats from Washington follows the last week’s decision to withdraw the U.S. diplomats from Havana.
The U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “The decision was made due to Cuba’s failure to take appropriate steps to protect our diplomats in accordance with its obligations under the Vienna Convention. This order will ensure equity in our respective diplomatic operations.”
Some U.S. diplomats are said to have been suffering mysterious health effects in Havana that led the US to withdraw many of its diplomats from Cuba.
The State Department said, “22 persons medically confirmed to have experienced health effects due to the attacks on diplomatic personnel in Havana.”
The U.S. has handed over the name of the personnel who are to leave the country within next seven days. The Spokesperson said, “We provided a diplomatic note that did provide a list of Cubans. He had some questions as to how this might affect their embassy operations, but yes, we did give them a list.”
“We have underscored repeatedly to the Cuban Government its responsibility for the safety, well-being, security, and protection of our diplomatic staff under the Vienna Convention in Havana.”
Being asked about the nature of the mysterious health effects, the State Department Spokesperson said, “Earlier reports suggested sonic attacks were to blame, but nothing has been proven.”
The US State Department, however, ensured that diplomatic relation with Cuba will continue. The Department Spokesperson said, “We are maintaining diplomatic relations with Cuba at this time.”
Cuba has been denying any affiliation with the strange attacks on the US embassy in Havana. Cuban FM Rodriguez called the U.S. move ‘unacceptable’.