U.S. has expulsed 15 Cuban diplomats following recent move by Donald Trump administration to recall half of its diplomats from Havana.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the latest decision was made ”due to Cuba’s failure to take appropriate steps to protect American personnel in Cuba, targeted in mysterious attacks that damaged their health.”
The steps being taken by Trump’s administration marked a further blow to his predecessor Barack Obama’s policy of rapprochement between Washington and Havana, former Cold War foes.
The move followed an announcement on Friday that the U.S. was sharply reducing its diplomatic presence in Cuba as it warned U.S. citizens not to visit because of attacks that caused hearing loss, dizziness and fatigue in U.S. embassy personnel.
According to Tillerson, until the Cuban government ensured the safety of U.S. diplomats in Cuba, the embassy would be reduced to emergency personnel to minimise the number of diplomats at risk of exposure to harm.
However, he added that ”we will continue to maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba, and will continue to cooperate with Cuba as we pursue investigations into the attacks.”