US Considering Closing Embassy in Cuba

19 September, 2017, 01:21 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Cuba again denies role in 'health attacks' on US diplomats

"We have it under evaluation", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday.

A group of five Republican senators have written to Tillerson, requesting the USA again shutter its Havana embassy, which Barack Obama opened toward the end of his presidency.

But at least 21 Americans who worked in the U.S. Embassy in Cuba have reported medical problems since late a year ago, when percussive attacks on their residences began.

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Closing the embassy would be a serious setback to relations between the United States and Cuba, two Cold War adversaries whose enmity stretched more than half a century before they restored diplomatic relations and upgraded their missions into embassies in 2015.

Some of the 21 Americans affected, including diplomats and their families, have permanent hearing loss or concussions while others suffered nausea, headaches, and ear-ringing. Some reported vibrations or loud sounds that were only audible in parts of rooms, while others heard nothing but developed symptoms. But U.S. officials were caught off guard by the way he addressed the matter, devoid of the indignant, how-dare-you-accuse-us attitude the U.S. had come to expect from Cuba's leaders.

U.S. officials have told reporters they believe some kind of sonic device was used to covertly undermine the health of staff members at the mission, who began reporting sick previous year. Last spring, the homes of five to ten Canadian diplomats were hit too.

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Reports state that the initial reaction of the Cuban president, Raúl Castro, to the failing health of the U.S. diplomats has caught American officials off guard.

"None of this has a reasonable explanation", said Fulton Armstrong, a former Central Intelligence Agency official who served in Havana before the USA re-opened an embassy there.

The Cuban government even offered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to visit Havana and investigate the case. "Cuba's neglect of its duty to protect our diplomats and their families can not go unchallenged". Marco Rubio of Florida, a prominent Cuban-American and critic of the US detente.

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