U.S. Cuts Embassy Staff in Cuba, Halts Travel After Attacks
Gee, who thought normalizing relations with Cuba was a good idea?
The left rejoiced when President Barack Obama decided to normalize relations with the Cuban regime, reopened our embassy, and allowed travel to the island.
But most of that has come to a screeching halt after mysterious attacks on our diplomats, which have caused serious health problems. The State Department has decided to recall all non-essential personnel from the embassy and urged Americans not to travel to Cuba.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez Parrilla, who denied the attacks came from the Communist regime and that officials have the well being of our diplomats in their best interest. From CBS News:
“The Cuban government has never perpetrated nor will it ever perpetrate attacks of any kind against diplomats,” it read. “The Cuban government has never permitted nor will it ever permit the use of its territory by third parties for this purpose.”
The readout went on to say that Cuban authorities had so far found, “There is no evidence so far of the cause or the origin of the health disorders reported by the U.S. diplomats.”
That was not enough to assure Tillerson that our diplomats are safe. From The Associated Press:
The decision deals a blow to already delicate ties between the U.S. and Cuba, longtime enemies who only recently began putting their hostility behind them. The embassy in Havana will lose roughly 60 percent of its U.S. staff, and will stop processing visas in Cuba indefinitely, the American officials said.
In a new travel warning to be issued Friday, the U.S. will say some of the attacks have occurred in Cuban hotels, and that while American tourists aren’t known to have been hurt, they could be exposed if they travel to Cuba. Tourism is a critical component of Cuba’s economy that has grown in recent years as the U.S. relaxed restrictions.
For now, the United States is not ordering any Cuban diplomats to leave Washington, another move that the administration had considered, officials said. Several U.S. lawmakers have called on the administration to expel all Cuban diplomats. In May, Washington asked two to leave, but emphasized it was to protest Havana’s failure to protect diplomats on its soil, not an accusation of blame.
The number of affected diplomats has reached 21. Since the fall of 2016, diplomats have complained of health problems, some of whom described to The Associated Press this month:
The blaring, grinding noise jolted the American diplomat from his bed in a Havana hotel. He moved just a few feet, and there was silence. He climbed back into bed. Inexplicably, the agonizing sound hit him again. It was as if he’d walked through some invisible wall cutting straight through his room.
Soon came the hearing loss, and the speech problems, symptoms both similar and altogether different from others among at least 21 US victims in an astonishing international mystery still unfolding in Cuba. The top US diplomat has called them “health attacks”.
The AP said other symptoms have been “brain swelling, dizziness, nausea, severe headaches, balance problems and tinnitus, or prolonged ringing in the ears.” Almost all diplomats have felt better once they returned to the states.
No one has any idea what is going on or what could be causing these problems. The details have shown that “at least some of the incidents were confined to specific rooms or even parts of rooms with laser-like specificity, baffling US officials who say the facts and the physics don’t add up.”
Authorities at first thought it was a sonic weapon, but the “diagnosis of mild brain injury, considered unlikely to result from sound,” has confused government agencies.
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Why do we have any non-essential employees anyway?
Think those are all of Obama’s feather bed fluffers.
Um, because we do a lot of things we don’t absolutely have to do to stay in business? I’m sure wherever you work (unless you’re self-employed), has people who are doing good work and earning their keep, but who could be laid off in a pinch without destroying the business. Those people are non-essential. But you wouldn’t want to do without them if you didn’t have to.
Actually, I think this has great potential.
I can think of quite a number of State Department employees who should be given plum ambassadorial assignments in our Cuban Embassy and surrounding hotels.
The way things work in Cuba, it is IMPOSSIBLE for any third party to organize and carry out this kind of attack without approval from the higher ups.
They did it, and only a fool can believe they did not.
Talking about fools: Obama’s friendliness towards the regime was understood by them as weakness. He bent over with his pants down and now 21 Americans are paying for it.
This was an act of war. The response should have been serious enough to break castro.
The stink of the obama legacy drifts on….
At least we could put the Obama Library in that old embassy.
I’m sure it’s got room for all of Obama’s released documents – both coloring books……….
It’s only an act of war if we can prove they did it. Common sense, such a Exiliado pointing out that nobody so much as blows their nose in Cuba without permission, isn’t actual proof. after all, if there were someone acting independently of the government, how would we know? If they’ve managed to stay off the government’s radar for so long then they’re certainly nowhere near ours. and perhaps it’s they who did this.
I thought Trump was going to cut off relations with Cuba again. Why do we have an embassy there at all?