US expels 15 Cuba officials after mysterious attacks
The State Department said Tuesday it is expelling 15 officials from Cuba's embassy in Washington in response to a series of mysterious "attacks" medically affecting almost two dozen American diplomats, APA reports quoting CNN.
The move does not a signal a change in policy or determination of responsibility for the attacks, a State Department official who asked not to be named, told reporters..
"We are not assigning culpability. 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.
The official would not get into what action Washington expected Havana to take, given the inscrutable nature of the attacks.
The Cuban officials, who the State Department identified on a list sent to the embassy, have been given seven days to leave, the official said.
The U.S. on Friday made dramatic cuts to its diplomatic presence in Cuba and warned Americans to avoid travelling to the island after the attacks, the latest of which happened in August.
The recently re-opened U.S. embassy in Cuba will have its staffing reduced to emergency personnel only, and visa operations have been suspended indefinitely as a result of the action.
"The decision to reduce our diplomatic presence in Havana was made to ensure the safety of our personnel," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement.
Twenty-one U.S. diplomats have suffered various physical ailments from the attacks, acknowledging the nature remains unknown as well as the perpetrators.
U.S. officials had previously refrained from calling it "attacks", instead using the vague language of "incidents".
Victims have suffered a range of symptoms including hearing loss, ear problems, dizziness, headache, cognitive issues and fatigue.
Havana has pledged to continue to investigate and the U.S. will assist in the effort, Tillerson said.
Related news releases
- 14.12.2017Plane with 25 people aboard crashes in Canada
- 14.12.2017Trump's eldest son testifies to Senate committee in Russia probe
- 14.12.2017Despite Tillerson overture, White House says not right time for North Korea talks
- 14.12.2017Canada says defense firms can now sell small arms to Ukraine
- 14.12.2017US ‘committed to its strategic partnership with Turkey’
- 14.12.2017Brazil's Temer back in hospital for prostate tests
- 13.12.2017FETO fugitive admits receiving money from FBI
- 13.12.2017400,000 children in DR Congo could die from hunger, says Unicef
- 13.12.2017The US Federal Reserve will raise the rate
- 13.12.2017UN warns of new Syria refugee flow into Europe
- 13.12.2017U.S. Secretary of State: U.S. ready to talk but North Korea must be ready to change course
- 13.12.2017Pentagon looking to triple size of Afghan air force by 2025
- 13.12.2017Venezuela to start criminal probe into ex-oil czar Ramirez
- 12.12.2017New York bombing suspect Akayed Ullah warned Trump on Facebook
- 12.12.2017Trump to send astronauts back to the moon - and eventually Mars
- 11.12.2017Mayor: Explosion at Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan was attempted terror attack
- 11.12.2017New York 'bomb' prematurely exploded at Manhattan subway platform - UPDATED
- 09.12.2017Trump senior aide Dina Powell to resign early next year: White House
- 08.12.2017Trump: I fulfilled my campaign promise
- 08.12.2017US Congress passes spending bill to avoid government shutdown
- 08.12.2017Ex-South Carolina cop sentenced to 20 years in US
- 08.12.2017Judge orders arrest of former Argentine president
- 08.12.201741 students suffer minor injuries after 3 school buses crash in Kentucky
- 07.12.20173 dead, 15 injured in New Mexico high school shooting
- 07.12.2017B-1B bomber joins U.S.-South Korea drills as tensions escalate
- 07.12.2017Trump urges Saudi Arabia to lift Yemen blockade
- 07.12.2017Wildfires rage across California as thousands flee to safety
- 06.12.2017Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital
- 06.12.2017Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital today
- 06.12.2017Paraguay Congress legalizes planting of medical marijuana
- 05.12.20171 dead, thousands threatened by California wildfire
- 05.12.2017US: Supreme Court allows full enforcement of travel ban
- 03.12.2017Arming PKK/YPG to stop per Trump, Erdogan talk: Mattis
- 03.12.2017Trump says Flynn's actions during presidential transition were lawful
- 03.12.2017Two dead as Honduran army enforces curfew while vote count stalls
- 03.12.2017US Senate passes largest tax overhaul in 31 years
- 02.12.2017U.N. council to meet on North Korea rights abuses, nuclear program in December
- 02.12.2017Trump, on Twitter, says Tillerson will remain as top U.S. diplomat
- 02.12.2017One dead, scores hurt in growing protests over delayed Honduran vote count
- 01.12.2017Nigeria: 4 policemen killed in raid on Fulani area
- 04.10.2017Chicago tightens security for upcoming marathon event
- 04.10.2017US State Department approves sale of 3,900 F-35 bombs to Australia
- 04.10.2017US: Tillerson denies report he thought of resigning
- 03.10.2017Trump: Las Vegas shooter 'sick man'
- 03.10.2017American scientists win 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics
- 03.10.2017US: Daesh's claim false, Vegas suspect's brother says