US Expels 15 Cuban Diplomats In Retaliation For Mystery "Health Attack"

As previewed last night, when we reported that the US government would expel as many as 60% of Cuba's Washington Embassy staff, on Tuesday morning the Trump administration announced Tuesday it will expel 15 Cuban diplomats from the U.S. in response to months of mysterious “health attacks” that have affected American personnel in Havana. The State Department said that the decision was made due to "Cuba's failure to take appropriate steps to protect our diplomats in accordance with its obligations under the Vienna Convention."

A State Department official said the expulsions will ensure “we have equitable staffing levels” while still allowing the embassies to operate. The official would not confirm whether the percentage of Cubans expelled matches the U.S. staff cut in Havana. The Cuban officials were given seven days to leave Washington

The official also said the U.S. is maintaining diplomatic ties with Cuba, but warned Havana it will need its “full assurances” that U.S. diplomats will be protected in order to restore a full presence there.

“We have underscored repeatedly to the Cuban government its responsibility for the security, safety, [and] well-being” of our diplomats, the official said.

The announcement comes days after the U.S. pulled 60% of its embassy staff from the Cuban capital and is the latest sign of the worsening ties between the two former Cold War foes under President Trump.

As The Hill notes, the diplomatic tit-for-tat is a further blow to former President Obama’s effort to re-establish ties with Cuba after decades of isolation. 

The move will likely please Cuban-American lawmakers in Washington, who have urged the Trump administration to expel Cuban diplomats over the attacks. But the emissaries are not being declared persona non grata, meaning they will avoid the most serious punishment for foreign diplomats.

On Tuesday, the State Department said that at least 22 U.S. embassy employees have been injured in the attacks. As reported previously, the affected diplomats had suffered loss of hearing, headaches and other symptoms. In response, the Cuban government denied it was behind any attack and has pledged to investigate the incidents. But so far, no culprit has been named. The Trump administration has not blamed the Castro government, but has repeatedly stated it bears responsibility for stopping them.

In addition to the embassy drawdown, the Trump administration has stopped issuing visas for Cubans seeking to visit the U.S. and issued a travel warning for Americans who want to visit Cuba. The U.S. also expelled two other Cuban diplomats in May over the attacks. 

Meanwhile, tensions between Washington and Havana have repeatedly flared under Trump, who has been eager to undo the detente achieved between Havana and the Trump administration.  Over the summer, the president rolled back part of Obama’s Cuba policy, which he criticized as a “one-sided deal.” Cuban officials have predictably warned the move would damage relations between the two nations.

Comments

lucitanian wisehiney Tue, 10/03/2017 - 12:24 Permalink

Like hell, the technology is made in the USA and what better way for the deep state within the CIA to sabotage and put the mockers on any improvement of relations with Cuba decided by the State Department who are not supporting the MIC gravy train. CIA elements probably have some distance and deniability by subcontracting to their Cuban mafia friends in Florida. But it's still green on green just like Al Qaeda or ISIS.My guess, covert deep state Vs. State dept., and TPTB know only too well, but the internal struggle goes on behind the curtain.

In reply to by wisehiney

digitlman Tue, 10/03/2017 - 12:10 Permalink

"Meanwhile, tensions between Washington and Havana have repeatedly flared under Trump, who has been eager to undo the detente achieved between Havana and the Trump administration". Shouldn't this read: "Meanwhile, tensions between Washington and Havana have repeatedly flared under Trump, who has been eager to undo the detente achieved between Havana and the Obama administration"?

Stinkytofu Tue, 10/03/2017 - 12:16 Permalink

"...the diplomatic tit-for-tat...." tit-for-tat????  the us pulls their personnel from cuba. then the us expels cubans.  i see the tit, in fact i seetwo tits.....but no tats. what idiot writed this shit?  

Hans-Zandvliet Stinkytofu Tue, 10/03/2017 - 12:51 Permalink

Indeed!Moreover, it's quite ironic that the US State Department now implicitly endorses Russia's justification of expelling almost 500 US diplomats (to reduce US staffing levels in Russia, to the Russian ones in the US): "A State Department official said the expulsions will ensure “we have equitable staffing levels” while still allowing the embassies to operate."

In reply to by Stinkytofu

MrBoompi Tue, 10/03/2017 - 12:19 Permalink

There has been no evidence Cuba was behind the "attacks".  If they had nothing to do with it, it would be difficult to expect them to "take appropriate steps" to protect diplomats.  However, if it was some kind of system used for eavesdropping or jamming, Cuba or an ally would be suspect.  There would be no rational motive for simply harming diplomats.

Hans-Zandvliet MrBoompi Tue, 10/03/2017 - 13:49 Permalink

Besides, what motive could Cuba possibly have to harm US diplomats. After nearly 60 years without diplomatic ties with the US, its firts diplomats arrive and Cuba immediately starts to mysteriously torture them in their sleep? Get real! If Cuba didn't want to reestablish diplomatic ties, the only thing they needed to do under Obama was "nothing"! Having taken the actions to reestablish diplomatic ties, proves they thought it useful to do so, in which case they would not have any motives to subsequently make US diplomats' lives miserable.Neither can I see the possible installation of  systems for eavesdropping as a cause for health problems. Those systems are based on reiceiving signals; not emitting them (if only to avoid detection). So how could an eavesdropping system cause any healthcare issues???Jamming systems: jamming what? Jamming communications with Washington. First, Washington didn't complain about communications having been jammed, so rule that one out too. Moreover: why jamming anything in the first place? With what motive would Cuba want to reestablish diplomatic ties with the US, to then jam US diplomats'communications with their capital? It makes as little sense as the lazy Holiwood scripts of a bad quality action film in which logic and coherance are sacrificed in favour of more action scenes and special effects.Another false flag operation by the Deep-State (in this case, installing harmful emitter equipment in their own embassy, to accuse Cuba of targeting their diplomats) to sabotage any detente with any country in order to optimise tensions anywhere in the world, so as to maximize profits for the military-industrial complex, seems the most plausible explanation.

In reply to by MrBoompi

Hans-Zandvliet Tue, 10/03/2017 - 12:41 Permalink

Again: punitive actions on the basis of totally unsubstantiated acusations: "the affected diplomats had suffered loss of hearing, headaches and other symptoms."But America's punitive actions on the basis of totally unsubstantiated acusations have become the new normal: Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, conquest of the Crimea and election meddling in the US; Sadam Husein's WMD; Gadaffi's genocide on his own people; Assad's use of chemical weapons; Iran being the biggest supporter of international terrorism (excuse me: who is supporting Al-Quaeda and IS, and who is fighting it?) and Kim Jong-un's secret plans to destroy the USA (imagine the mouse that roared!).Fortunately those are just the symptoms of a world hegemon in its death-throes. It will soon be over (a few more years at most) and then the US will have to abide by international law again like any other country.Meanwhile, I can think of some plausible explanations for the US diplomats' problems:

  • "loss of hearing": this doesn't surprise any diplomat from any other country in the world; it's a well known ailment among most American diplomats, so why pick on Cuba in this instance?
  • Headaches: it must be quite stressful for American diplomats to combine Washington's totally alienated demands with the reallity on the ground of the country they are stationed: how to communicate Washington's redicculous demands with their diplomatic counterparts, without being seen as autistic, tone-deaf, spoilt brats.
SHADEWELL Hans-Zandvliet Tue, 10/03/2017 - 12:57 Permalink

Right"totally unsubstantiated", yup thoise people with hearing loss and brain damage are just making it up..umm hmm you fucking dink btw, the Yuri Bezmenov decribed "DemoraLIZTION ACT" AINT CUTTING IT YOU DOUCHE..MOVE ON Yes, I am sure that Putin would be perfectly fine if that happened to his personnel in another country right, i mean its all "unsubstaiated" fucking hypocrite fuckIf the US is so "weak" then challenge America directly instead of being a sackless pussy that beats about their own bush..fuck you  A direct challenge will not go so well for you clearlyIf Cuba isnt acting alone, at a aminimum they sure helped to facilitate these attacks..fuck them fuck their 50's cars, and now you aint gonna get any of the US Moneymaybe its time for blockade II shut the entire pos island completely off then see what happens Great move Castro..Fidel would be proud comrade

In reply to by Hans-Zandvliet

Hans-Zandvliet SHADEWELL Tue, 10/03/2017 - 13:44 Permalink

The only thing you seem to be capable of is to brag and to bluster and to use bad language.However, just like your regime in Washington, you don't seem to care much about abiding by international law and common norms of civilized behaviour among nations. For example: who gives the Washington regime the right to start a Cuban Blockade II? (By the way, it would hardly be necesary, because the equally illegal Blockade I is still largely in place.)Also, you don't seem to care much about the logic of it all: means, motive and opportunity. Explain to me, with what plausible motive would Cuba first want to reestablish diplomatic ties, to then torture the recently arrived US diplomats in their sleep? Which goal could Cuba possibly be seeking to achieve with such irrational behaviour? (By the way, simply stating that "Raul Castro is crazy", is NOT a plausible explanation.)So if you feel capable to answer without using bad language, please do so and try to be rational about it.

In reply to by SHADEWELL

SHADEWELL Hans-Zandvliet Tue, 10/03/2017 - 14:48 Permalink

"my regime in Washington"I did not realize that it was MY regime... Why would Cuba do this...hmm because Obabma is out and Trump was already placing restriction upon previous "advances" now making the US not a "useful mouthpiece" for Cuba, so Raoul turns to Putin, and says Vlad, We gots this sit she ation...what think you? Vlad remember the raoring 50's when y'all were going to make Cuba part of the mother land, well we want to revisit that, and so I understand that the CIA would probably be an inconvenient presence, so lets say you and I hatch a plan to rid the island of these folks maybe a little somethin like that

In reply to by Hans-Zandvliet

Davidduke2000 Tue, 10/03/2017 - 14:21 Permalink

American spies in Cuba were activating microwave listening devises , they fried their brains and now they are blaming Cuba. I think Cuba should kick the us out and close the embassy, Russia and China will be more than glad to send their tourists to Cuba.