Published: Fri, September 29, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Tillerson meets Cuba minister on 'attacks' on USA staff

Tillerson meets Cuba minister on 'attacks' on USA staff

"He stated that according to the preliminary results obtained by the Cuban authorities in their investigations, which have borne in mind the information given by the US authorities, there is no evidence so far of the cause or the origin of the health disorders reported by the USA diplomats", Cuba's embassy said in a statement.

Nauert on Tuesday confirmed that the Cubans had asked for the meeting. ' Earlier this month, Tillerson said that the United States was considering whether or not to close down the USA embassy in Cuba following the incidents.

The meeting - the first between the two men since Donald Trump entered the White House in January - took place behind closed doors, the US State Department said. Additionally, it said an investigation is still ongoing in order to resolve the conflict, which resulted in numerous cases of nausea and hearing loss, among other symptoms.

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And Rodriguez argued that the USA acted inappropriately in May by kicking out two Cuban diplomats posted in Washington.

"We see the United States as the most powerful bastion of democracy in the world, as a light of hope on this long path of effort to end the tyranny that has frustrated the liberties and rights of the Cuban people", the letter concludes.

El Nuevo Herald reported that officials in the White House do not believe the Cuban regime was responsible for the alleged sonic attacks against USA diplomatic personnel in Havana.

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Nauert also confirmed that 21 of the diplomats experienced the attacks, which have left some victims experiencing permanent hearing loss, damage to their cognitive abilities, sleeplessness, and other serious symptoms.

A Tuesday McClatchy news service report, picked up by the Miami Herald, said the Trump administration "as soon as Tuesday will announce a major withdrawal of staff from the USA embassy" and will boost the number of Americans affected by the sonic attacks to 25 from 21 with reports of cases occurring in the last several weeks. He also reaffirmed that at the suggestion of the highest level of the Cuban government it is initiated a priority search from the very moment the facts were reported, and additional measures were taken to protect US diplomats and their families. In the United States, the most prominent voice calling for the embassy to close has been the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, to which the Cuban exile community has also raised its voice calling for the undoing of Barack Obama's policies to placate the Castro regime. Yet Rodriguez told Tillerson that "it would be regrettable that a matter of this nature is politicized", reviving an argument Rodriguez made last week before the United Nations General Assembly.

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told Congress on Tuesday that it was a reasonable suspicion that Cuban authorities either were involved in the incidents or at least knew they were occurring.

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"I can guarantee to this committee, whoever wants a briefing will get one", he said. Cuba requested the meeting as the U.S. considers shuttering the newly re-opened U.S. Embassy in Havana, a response that would deal a devastating blow to the delicate rapprochement between the countries.

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