Cuba 'responsible' for diplomats' illness: Trump

 17 Oct 2017 - 9:19

Cuba 'responsible' for diplomats' illness: Trump
File picture of US President Donald Trump. Reuters.

IANS

Washington, US President Donald Trump has said that he believed Cuba shall be responsible for the illness of the US diplomats working in the island country.

The US President, however, did not provide any details or evidences supporting his accusation, Xinhua reported.

Earlier on October 3, Washington announced it has asked for the departure of 15 Cuban diplomats from the Cuban embassy in Washington in the wake of mysterious "sonic attacks" that led to the recall of more than half of the US embassy staff in Havana.

According to the US State Department, the attacks have caused health problems in 22 American diplomats and intelligence personnel.

No details of the injuries have been released, but media reports said the affected Americans suffered a severe hearing loss and at least one victim suffered some "brain damage".

In September, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington was considering closing down the US embassy in Cuba following the incidents.

"We have it under evaluation and it's a very serious issue with respect to the harm some individuals have suffered," he said.

"We've brought some of those people home. It's under review."

Rejecting any responsibilities in the incidents, Cuba said the US withdrawal of its diplomatic personnel is a "hasty decision" that will affect bilateral relations.

In a meeting specially arranged with Tillerson last month to clarify the incident, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said the Cuban government has never perpetrated, nor will it allow any third parties to use the Cuban territory to launch alleged acoustic attacks against American diplomats.

Cuba and the US resumed diplomatic ties in 2015 after 54 years of political enmity, but Trump had even before taking office promised to reverse what he called a "terrible and misguided deal" with Havana.