On Tuesday, the Trump administration continued severing diplomatic relations with Cuba when it told 15 diplomats to leave Cuba’s embassy in Washington, D.C., within a week.
According to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Cuba failed to “take appropriate steps” following alleged “attacks” on American personnel in the Caribbean country. The U.S. Department of State is investigating the attacks, which allegedly harmed the health of 22 American diplomats, and chose to maintain “equitable staffing levels” in U.S. and Cuban embassies during the investigation, Reuters reported.
“Until the Government of Cuba can ensure the safety of our diplomats in Cuba, our embassy will be reduced to emergency personnel to minimize the number of diplomats at risk of exposure to harm,” Tillerson reportedly said. The secretary of state clarified that he intended to “maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba,” even amid the seemingly tense investigation.
The decision came as the U.S. told citizens not to visit Cuba and after it removed more than half of its staff from the Cuban capital of Havana. The mysterious attacks on embassy personnel reportedly caused dizziness, hearing loss, and fatigue.