Cuba Blames US for "Deteriorating" Relations

Cuba Blames US for

Tillerson said the U.S.is maintaining diplomatic relations and will cooperate with Cuba while the investigation continues.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States expelled 15 of Cuba's diplomats Tuesday to protest its failure to protect Americans from unexplained attacks in Havana, plunging diplomatic ties between the countries to levels unseen in years.

The recently re-opened US 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. A fourth source added that the USA decision to remove Cuban personnel from its territory was an act of "reciprocity" following the Trump administration's decision earlier this month to remove all nonessential staff from the embassy in Havana.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the Cuban government had failed to protect US diplomats and their families from unexplained sonic attacks.

The State Department delivered a diplomatic note Tuesday to the Cuban embassy in Washington ordering 15 listed Cubans to leave the United States within seven days.

"The Ministry urges the competent authorities of the USA government not to continue politicizing this matter, which can provoke an undesirable escalation." the ministry added. Half of the American personnel in the U.S. Embassy in Havana last week was required to leave by next weekend.

The attacks are said to be from sonic devices but the investigations have not found anything to confirm that.

The weak bridge that had been built between the United States and Cuba is about to break.

According to the AP report, America had stationed "roughly 50 workers" at the Havana embassy, meaning that almost half of these suffered symptoms of the acoustic attacks. All nations have an obligation to ensure the protection of diplomatic representatives in their countries.

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The U.S. officials say the additional case will be announced later Tuesday.

The steps being taken by President Donald Trump´s administration mark a further blow to his predecessor Barack Obama´s policy of rapprochement between Washington and Havana, former Cold War foes. "By suspending the issuance of visas to Cubans on the island, Washington seeks to provoke discontent on the island", he said.

From his perch on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Sen.

Newsweek and the New York Times report that the us has already expelled two Cuban diplomats over the attacks, and is considering further retaliatory steps. "We can no longer expose them to the environment down there", said the USA official assigned to inform reporters about the measures, as quoted by The Washington Post.

The U.S. has called the mysterious health ailments - diplomats have reported symptoms including hearing loss, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, cognitive issues, and difficulty sleeping - attacks and Cuba has said it is not at fault. The US has said the FBI is leading the investigation.

The Americans will not be allowed to return to Cuba until the government in Havana can assure their well being, said the USA official assigned to brief reporters on the expulsion.

Last week, the United States claimed not to know the methods, means and manner of attacks on its diplomats.

Cuba's foreign minister has said Washington's response to mysterious attacks on its diplomats was "reckless" and "hasty". So we need to keep probing and figuring out what on earth has been going on. There were also concerns that if some entity - perhaps Russian Federation, or a faction of Cuba's government - is trying to drive a wedge between Washington and Havana, cutting back diplomatic ties would play directly into their hands.

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