US authorities will cut their embassy staff by more than 60% and will stop issuing visas after what it claims were ‘sonic attacks’ on its embassy building in Havana, Cuba.
Furthermore, US residents are warned against visiting Cuba. The already delicate ties between the US and Cuba are dealt a further blow with this news, certainly after the rapprochement that was made in the last few years of the Obama administration/
In the new travel warning that will be issued later today, the US will explain that some of the attacks on its diplomatic personnel have happened in hotels and even though so far no tourists were targeted, it is feared that this could change in the future
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the decision to draw down the embassy as he prepares to travel to China today.
At least 21 diplomats and some of their family members have so far been hurt in these attacks, which officials described as ‘sonic’. Symptoms are mild brain trauma, hearing loss and concussions whilst others became nauseated, suffered from headaches and ear-ringing. Also two Canadian diplomats have reported similar symptoms.
The Cuban government has so far denied any involvement: “There is no evidence so far of the cause or the origin of the health disorders reported by the U.S. diplomats.”
Cuban President Raul Castro, brother of the recently passed Fidel Castro, sent a letter to the highest US diplomat in Havana giving his personal assurance that his country was not behind the reported incidents.
Just in 2015, the US had finally reopened its embassy in Cuba after fifty years of frozen relations between the two nations. Then in 2016, during his last year in office, President Barack Obama became the first US president since 1928 to visit Cuba.
President Trump has since rolled back Mr Obama’s overture but did say that he would not close the US embassy in Havana. With this latest news, all that is not so sure anymore.