• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • U.S. and Cuban flags hang on the terrace of a restaurant in downtown Havana, March 17, 2016.

    U.S. and Cuban flags hang on the terrace of a restaurant in downtown Havana, March 17, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 September 2017

Washington claims its diplomats were "attacked" in Cuban hotels, failing to provide specific examples.

Cuba has called the U.S.' decision to pull out over half of its diplomats from the island nation's capital as "hasty."

US Plans Mass Withdrawal of Diplomats from Cuba

Washington announced that the United States will remove about 60 percent of government staff out of Cuba and issue a travel advisory for the U.S. citizens, over alleged "attacks" against embassy staff.

Cuban diplomat and foreign ministry head of U.S. affairs, Josefina Vidal, said the decision would strain the bilateral relations between the two countries.

“We consider the decision announced today by the U.S. government through the State Department is hasty and will affect bilateral relations,” she said during a brief broadcast aired on the state-run television.

"(The decision) will particularly affect cooperation in the mutual interest of both countries and the diverse exchanges taking place between Cuba and the U.S," she added.

"For the full clarification of the facts it will be essential to have and have the participation and effective involvement of the US authorities," Vidal said in a statement.

At the meeting, Cuba called on the United States to "not politicize" the issue and sought U.S.' "active cooperation" to come to a conclusion concerning the incidents reported by the U.S. diplomats.

Cuba Meets with Tillerson to Discuss Diplomat Attacks

"The Cuban Government has no responsibility for the facts alleged and seriously and rigorously fulfills its obligations to the Vienna Convention in regard to the protection of diplomats," Vidal said.

The United States claims its diplomats were “attacked” in local hotels. Washington, however, has not released specific information about the nature of these so-called “attacks.”

The U.S. government has also indefinitely suspended visa processing in Cuba, warning its citizens that they could be “harmed” in Cuba.

The remaining 40 percent of employees who will remain at the Havana embassy are “emergency personnel.”

“The Cuban government has never perpetrated nor will it ever perpetrate attacks of any kind against diplomats,” Cuba said in a statement on Thursday, when rumors of the embassy staff cut began to circulate.

“The Cuban government has never permitted nor will it ever permit the use of its territory by third parties for this purpose.”

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is “still reviewing his options on how best to protect American personnel in Cuba,” CBS News reported.

Post with no comments.