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Published: Thu, October 05, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

US Gives 15 Cuban Diplomats One Week to Leave Embassy in DC

US Gives 15 Cuban Diplomats One Week to Leave Embassy in DC

There was reluctance to punish Cuba when the USA still hasn't blamed anyone.

The new expulsion order for Cuban diplomats would in effect leave both countries with only emergency-level staffing at their respective embassies. Rodriguez said that so far there are no evidences of the cause or origin of the health incidents reported by U.S. diplomats and their families. The Cuban embassy has not immediately responded to a request for comment but the reduction of staff will affect the consular services in Washington.

The State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment for this story. Diplomats reported piercing, high-pitched sounds followed by inexplicable ailments.

The U.S. says at least 21 American government workers in Havana have been attacked.

The number of American diplomats confirmed to have suffered symptoms has increased to 22. Until then, there's no point having diplomatic relations with them, because we have nothing to talk about.

Over time, the attacks seemed to evolve.

Speaking on Tuesday, the state department official said the administration was not trying to signal that it blamed Havana for the mysterious attacks.

The investigation started in February, and intelligence experts told one of the congressional intelligence committees that ultrasound, infrared, or even Xray machines could have been used in the attacks, but they also said they were not sure about that information.

Cuba's colorful styling is a driving force behind its tourism.

The federal official, who said that there are 21 USA diplomats who had health problems, reiterated today that the reasons for those events are still unknown. But this is Cuba.

In March, the USA asked two Cuban diplomats to leave the U.S. as a reciprocal measure after two United States diplomats injured in the attacks were unable to return to their posting.

Two years ago, Cuban leader Raul Castro and former President Barack Obama restored diplomatic ties, ordered embassies reopened, and eased travel and commerce restrictions.

Havana has pledged to continue to investigate and the us will assist in the effort, Tillerson said. So we need to keep probing and figuring out what on earth has been going on.

In a message on Facebook, the embassy's top official, career diplomat Scott Hamilton, said he would also be leaving.

But the U.S. has not identified whatever device is responsible for the harm. The cruise lines point to the fact that only US diplomats and embassy employees have been victims, so far.

Twenty-one USA diplomats have suffered various physical ailments from the attacks, acknowledging the nature remains unknown as well as the perpetrators.

Havana aerial view from Jose Marti monument, 2008. Those people were given seven days to leave the United States. It called them "incidents" instead until September 29. The fact that the State Department has kept details under wraps and the lack of substantial worldwide press in Havana has only made it more hard to get clarity on what's going on.

But James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, a Washington-based pro-engagement lobbying group said: "This decision appears to be purely political, driven by the desire of a handful of individuals in Congress to halt progress between our two countries".

Last week's embassy drawdown added to the growing friction between the nations.

"The United States will not send official delegations to Cuba or conduct bilateral meetings in Cuba for the time being". Photo from US State Department. The reduction in U.S. staff in Havana means visa processing there has been suspended indefinitely. The Cuban government has repeatedly denied having played a role in the attacks and launched its own investigation into the incidents.

When President Raul Castro denied any culpability in February, he did so on the sidelines of a meeting in Havana with five visiting USA members of Congress, the AP found.

On Tuesday, a senior State Department official said the US still does not presume Cuban culpability for the attacks and still does not know who is behind them or how the attacks were carried out.

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Chargé d'Affaires at US Embassy Havana. "They should be taking steps to investigate", not walk away, he said.

The US diplomats leaving the island spent the weekend holding garage sales where they sold everything from American craft beer to plastic Christmas trees.

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