HAVANA TIMES – The United States today told Cuba to withdraw 15 diplomats from Washington to ensure “fairness” between the two countries, after the State Department ordered more than half of its officials to leave the island until the mysterious attacks on their health is clarified, reported dpa news.
The State Department gave a list to the Cuban ambassador in Washington with the names of the people whose exit should take place over the next seven days, said a senior administration official who requested anonymity.
These diplomats, however, have not been declared unwelcome (persona non-grata). “It is not a sign of change in relations or an attribution of guilt to Cuba of the attacks,” the official told reporters. The step is taken faced with “the inability of Cuba to protect our diplomats,” he noted.
Since November 2016, at least 22 US diplomats in Cuba have allegedly suffered alterations in their health, which the United States calls “attacks”, with symptoms such as hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, headaches, fatigue, cognitive problems and difficulties sleep.
The US Foreign Service union recently said that some also suffered “mild traumatic brain injury.” The last episode recorded by the State Department occurred in August.
The attacks, which US media describe as “acoustic”, took place in diplomatic staff residences and in hotels frequented by US citizens.
The United States, which collaborates in the investigation carried out by Cuba and which runs a parallel one, does not rule out that there is a third country behind them. But for the moment no one knows the source that has generated the health problems for the US personnel.
“We’ve had a really big problem in Cuba, we’ll have something to say about this pretty soon,” Donald Trump said last Friday after the State Department announced the withdrawal of more than half of the embassy staff and a total cutback on services to Cubans until things are cleared up. “They have done some bad things,” said the president of the United States.