HAVANA TIMES – The Cuban government said on Friday that the decision of the United States to make permanent the skeleton staff at its embassy in Havana “responds to political motivations and has nothing to do with the security of its officials,” reported dpa news.
“The decision of the State Department that unilaterally extends for an indefinite period the reduction of its personnel in the Embassy in Cuba, responds to political motivations and has no relation with the security of its officials in Havana,” wrote Carlos Fernandez of Cossio, director of the United States desk at the Cuban Foreign Minister.
Six months ago, the State Department made the decision to cut its staff assigned to Cuba in response to alleged sonic attacks on the health of its diplomats, although their origin is still unknown and is still being investigated.
“It is false that the diplomatic staff of the Embassy is or has been at risk,” added Fernandez de Cossio.
The Cuban diplomat stressed that “it is false that it was allowed in Cuba or that any deliberate action against diplomats of the United States may have occurred in Cuba.”
Cossio criticized on Twitter that Washington continues to use the word “attack”, when “it knows perfectly well that no attack or deliberate act occurred in Cuba against its diplomats.”
“The United States has sufficient evidence that Cuba is a safe country for US diplomats or any country, as well as for Cubans and for more than 4 million foreign visitors every year,” he added.
The reduction of diplomatic personnel in Havana affected Cubans who want to reunify with their families in the United States and now have to do the paperwork at the US Embassy in Bogota, Colombia.
The foreign ministry official added that this measure “affects in particular the consular services on which thousands of citizens depended on to obtain non-immigrant visas. They are now forced to incur considerable additional expenses in the search for tourist visas at US embassies in third countries.”
[Editor’s note: Cuban President Obama came to Havana in March 2016. His message addressed to Cubans, very popular among many, was harshly criticized by Fidel Castro and later by the government of Raul Castro and his subordinates, despite the openings that the new US relationship with Cuba offered to the regime. Now they have Donald Trump and Senator Rubio to set the tone in bilateral relations.]