Published On: Tue, Oct 3rd, 2017

US expels 15 Cuban diplomats

Havana CubaHAVANA - Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla has described the decision by the US government to expel 15 diplomats from the island’s mission in Washington as unfounded and unacceptable.

Speaking to more than 60 national and international media, he said that the US decision is a political reprisal, which uses as a pretext that the Cuban government did not take all appropriate measures to prevent the alleged incidents that US officials on the island have been suffering since November 2016.

He emphasized that the measure announced by the United States government, without conclusive investigative results or evidence of the incidents affecting its officials in Cuba, is arbitrary and has mainly political objectives.

The minister urged US officials not to continue to politicize this issue, which he warned could lead to an undesirable escalation, and further set back bilateral relations, already affected by the new policy announcement last June by President Donald Trump.

From the headquarters of the ministry of foreign affairs, Rodríguez Parrilla said that this is the second time, after May 23 last, that the State Department has ordered two Cuban diplomats to leave the US, when the Trump administration responded in a hasty, inappropriate manner and unreflective, and without evidence about the facts invoked.

He emphasized that Cuba has no responsibility in the alleged attacks, nor does it possess or is familiar with the technology that has been speculated caused the afflictions, in addition to that the government never allowed, nor will it, the use of the national territory for acts against any state or its representatives.

The foreign ministry regretted that the measures taken by the United States have been rushed, since the investigation has not been concluded and, so far, neither Cuban experts nor the United States have found evidence to indicate who is responsible for the alleged incidents.

The new measure not only affects diplomatic ties, particularly cooperation on issues of mutual interest, and exchanges of various kinds, but also hundreds of thousands of Cubans living on either side of the Florida Straits.

On this last subject he answered a question from the Cuban News Agency that the situation of the Cuban embassy in Washington is extremely precarious, since only one official was left to provide consular services.

Cuba complies seriously and rigorously with its obligations under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations with respect to the protection of the integrity of diplomatic agents accredited to the country and their families, without exception, he said.

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