United States cuts embassy staff in Cuba after mystery attacks

Sergio Conner
October 1, 2017

The United States Department of State has issued a travel warning for Cuba. Investigators have been unable to determine who is responsible or what is causing these attacks.

The State Dept. on Friday announced it was cutting US diplomats down to a skeleton staff of "emergency personnel" in Cuba and warned Americans against traveling there.

But officials said Friday the USA now believes "specific attacks" targeted the diplomats in Cuba.

The embassy in Havana will continue to carry out core functions, but routine visa issuances to people seeking to go to the USA will be suspended indefinitely. Others took place at diplomatic residences, according to a report by Global Security.

Tillerson said the USA has no reports of private US citizens being affected by the attacks.

In August, the State Department revealed that a number of USA diplomats in Cuba had been the target of what Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described at the time as "health attacks" - but details have been sketchy at best. "A swift, apolitical resolution is in the best interest of both nations and we support continued cooperation and engagement until the source and motive of these attacks are determined".

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The group, which includes Minnesota's U.S. Reps.

In all, 21 United States diplomats in Cuba have exhibited a wide range of physical symptoms, including ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping.

The latest attack was in late August, but officials said they can not rule out future attacks either.

Cuba has allowed Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in to help investigate the rash of health problems.

The Foreign Service officers' union has also cited cases of mild traumatic brain injury.

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