Tags: Cuba | Cuba | diplomats | United States | sonic attacks

Rubio Calls for Administration to Expel Cuban Diplomats From US

Rubio Calls for Administration to Expel Cuban Diplomats From US
Sen. Marco Rubio (AP)

By    |   Saturday, 30 September 2017 10:49 AM

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wants President Donald Trump to expel Cuban diplomats from the U.S., in addition to the previously announced drawdown of American personnel from Havana, due to the recent mysterious sonic attacks on American diplomats in Cuba, the Washington Free Beacon reported Saturday.

The relationship between the U.S. and Cuba hit troubled waters earlier this year when it was revealed that American diplomatic personnel and their families living in Cuba were subjected to what appeared to be a series of sonic attacks. Injuries included permanent hearing loss, cognitive issues, dizziness, fatigue, balance problems, visual complaints and sleeping difficulties.

Rubio feels the Cuban government has made no progress in determining the source of the sonic attacks, that so far have affected 21 Americans.

"Some at @StateDept want massive drawdown of Americans at @USEmbCuba but allow Castro to keep regime embassy in DC virtually the same," Rubio tweeted Friday. "So, Castro regime allows attacks on Americans forcing us to drawdown to keep them safe but he gets to keep about same # of people here?"

Rubio is one of five senators who two weeks ago called on the Trump administration to expel Cuban diplomats from Washington and shutter the U.S. embassy in Havana, claiming the Cuban government had not been aggressive in determining the cause of the sonic attacks. The State Dept. on Friday announced it was cutting U.S. diplomats down to a skeleton staff of "emergency personnel" in Cuba and warned Americans against traveling there.

"Until the government of Cuba can ensure the safety of our diplomats in Cuba, our embassy will be reduced to emergency personnel in order to minimize the number of diplomats at risk of exposure to harm," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement Friday.

The policy reverses the attempt of former President Barack Obama to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba.

Exactly who is behind the mysterious attacks remains unclear, however the involvement of a third party has not been ruled out.

"We have not ruled out the possibility of a third country as part of the investigation, but that investigation continues and will continue irrespective of the ordered departure" of American personnel, a U.S. official said. "We will continue to investigate these attacks and get to the bottom of it."

The attacks began earlier this year and continued as late as August. So far, officials maintain the Cuban government has provided little information about their cause.

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wants President Donald Trump to expel Cuban diplomats from the U.S., in addition to the previously announced drawdown of American personnel from Havana, due to the recent mysterious sonic attacks on American diplomats in Cuba, the Washington Free...
Cuba, diplomats, United States, sonic attacks
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2017-49-30
Saturday, 30 September 2017 10:49 AM
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