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State Department Expels 15 Cuban Diplomats


For his part, Tillerson said the USA "will continue to maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba, and will continue to cooperate with Cuba as we pursue the investigation into these attacks" on American diplomats.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States expelled 15 of Cuba's diplomats Tuesday to protest its failure to protect Americans from unexplained attacks in Havana, plunging diplomatic ties between the countries to levels unseen in years. It said that until the Cuba government can assure the safety of US Government personnel in Cuba, the embassy will be reduced to emergency personnel so as to minimize the number of US Government personnel at risk of exposure. Rodriguez also urged the United States Government to stop politicizing the issue because it might worsen the situation and represent another backward step in the ties between the two countries, which were already strained since June 16th when incumbent President Donald Trump said that U.S. policy toward Cuba would change.

The U.S. government warned Americans not to travel to Cuba because of recent sonic attacks on U.S. citizens who were working for the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

The State Department official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, said the 15 Cuban diplomats had seven days to leave.

So to better identify patterns, investigators have created a map detailing specific areas of Cuba's capital where attacks have occurred, several individuals familiar with the matter said. The reduction in staff will slow down the functions carried out by the embassies. And it is meant to ensure "equitable impact" - the United States removed all but "essential" personnel from Cuba last week.

We need to tell Cuba to close its embassy and get the hell out of our country, and don't try to come back until it renounces communism and embraces free elections, free markets and free people. An official said that the new victim had experienced health problems in January but only now has a determination been made that they were connected to the other health incidents.

KELEMEN: And she says this will have a chilling effect on U.S. -Cuba relations.


The attacks are suspected to be from sonic devices.

The Cuban diplomats ordered to leave Washington were not labeled persona non grata - a designation that would prevent them from ever returning to the U.S. The State Department has also emphasized that diplomatic relations with Cuba will remain in place.

On Friday, Washington issued a travel warning for the island and said it was reducing by about 60% its diplomatic staffing at the U.S. embassy in Havana.

It also said new, faster communications channels have been opened between the U.S. embassy in Havana and Cuba's diplomatic security department.

"I commend the U.S. State Department for expelling a number of Cuban operatives from the U.S.", Rubio, an influential voice on Trump's Cuba policy, said in a statement. He said his government would continue to work with USA authorities investigating the attacks. The mysterious attacks have caused diziness, headaches and hearing loss.

When it was announced that the USA would pull its staff out of Havana, Senator Marco Rubio tweeted that it wasn't enough just to remove our diplomats - he believed that Cuba's envoys should be sent home as well.

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.

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