Cuba Rejects Allegations by High-Ranking US Official

Cuba Rejects Allegations by High-Ranking US Official

According to State Department Diplomatic Security Assistant Director Todd Brown, attacks were carried out between December 2016 and April 2017 on several residences, including two hotels.

The Cuban official categorically denied any responsibility of Cuban authorities on the alleged health problems reported by US diplomats, and underlined that Cuba has never perpetrated nor it would do harm to any foreign representative, not it would allowed third parties act against the physical integrity of any diplomat, without exception.

Diplomats have been treated for concussion-like symptoms, including hearing loss, dizziness, balance problems, visual complaints, headaches, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping, United States officials said.

"I think it's fair to say that whoever did this, did this because they wanted there to be friction between the US and the Cuban government".

"The hearing symptoms could be part of another attack", Brown said.

Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday that he doubts 24 American diplomats in Cuba were attacked without the local government's knowledge.

Flake, who also sits on the committee, declared last week that there is no evidence that American diplomats were the victims of attack in Havana.

"There is still much we do not know, including who or what is behind the injuries to our personnel", the State Department's Francisco Palmieri told the Senate Foreign Relations committee, chaired by Sen.

The incidents prompted Tillerson to withdraw most USA diplomatic personnel from Cuba in September.

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Palmieri also said he couldn't answer in a public setting whether the State Department made contact with the Russian government regarding the attacks, saying that information was better suited for a classified briefing.

Both the State Department officials and Rubio agreed that Cuba, with its powerful surveillance state, must have either been behind the attacks itself or at least know who was. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, told CNN on Friday during a trip to the island.

The victims - at least 24 Americans, a mix of USA embassy personnel and their dependents - suffered headaches, hearing loss, disorientation and some loss of cognitive ability.

Palmieri said that the State Department then began identifying "these unusual events" with certain health symptoms and approached the Cuban government in mid-February to demand it meet its obligations under the Vienna Convention to protect USA personnel in Havana.

According to the DOS officials, the "health attacks" intensified a year ago, prompting U.S. President Donald Trump's administration to expel Cuban diplomats and evacuate American personnel.

"Nothing is inconsistent with what the Cubans have said, and I think the Federal Bureau of Investigation would say that", he added, seemingly defending the communist regime.

"The method that was used to attack them is not yet clear".

The United States is to review how the State Department has responded to alleged attacks on the health of 24 diplomats and family members in Havana, officials said Tuesday.

.

Bush and Kasich were focusing on Trump's decision to rescind residency and work protections for about 200,000 Salvadorans invited in by the US after a 2001 quake in a "merciful act". He added that he will not reverse those actions until the Cuban government can guarantee the safety of Americans. "People were hurt and the Cuban government knows who did it". -Cuban relations that were restored under President Barack Obama.

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