US Plans Major Withdrawal of Staff from Embassy in Cuba

US Plans Major Withdrawal of Staff from Embassy in Cuba

While the FBI investigation continues, State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nuart, told CBS News that Tillerson was still reviewing the available options at his disposal on the best way to protect U.S. diplomats and embassy staff in Cuba.

The memo pointed out, that although Cuba was cooperating in allowing United States investigators to find the origin of the attacks, Minister Parilla did not give any assurances the Cuban government was doing enough to protect USA diplomats while in Cuba. The US government has not blamed the Cuban government for the incidents but the State Department did say that Tillerson reminded Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez at a meeting that Cuba has to protect embassy staff and families.

Earlier this month, Tillerson said the USA was considering whether to close down its embassy in Cuba following the incidents.

Earlier in the day, Nauert told reporters that as many as 21 Americans have been medically confirmed as having been affected by incidents in Cuba which began in late 2016. The US launched an investigation shortly after the reports but little details are known about what's causing the unusual symptoms. But U.S. investigators looking into the matter have not found any such device, and the cause of the symptoms remains unknown. It was the first highest-level diplomatic contact between the two countries since Donald Trump became US President in January.

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"The Cuban government has never perpetrated nor will it ever perpetrate attacks of any kind against diplomats", it read.

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 US diplomats".

In recent months, several USA diplomats and family members have been affected by health problems.

In an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation" earlier this month, Tillerson suggested that the USA could close the Havana embassy, which reopened in 2015 amid efforts by the Obama administration to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. This is in response to attacks on American diplomats and embassy staff that have baffled authorities. "AFSA's view is that American diplomats need to remain on the field and in the game".


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