Cuba: US not cooperating in probe of harmed diplomats

Featured Cuba: US not cooperating in probe of harmed diplomats

Cuba has accused the United States of not cooperating with an ongoing investigation into the case of American diplomats who have mysteriously suffered physical harm in the Caribbean country.

“Washington is unwilling to fully help with the investigation,” said Colonel Ramiro Ramirez, who is the chief Cuban investigator in the case, on Thursday.

Other Cuban officials echoed Ramirez’s remarks, saying that investigators were being denied access to the victims and their medical records.

“US authorities have said the responsibility lies with Cuba to investigate the affair and decide on the case but has failed to play their part as the affected country,” Lieutenant-Colonel Francisco Estrada, a senior Cuban Interior Ministry official, said on Thursday. “We don’t even have access to the victims or the witnesses.”

Cuba has enlisted about 2,000 security officials and experts to investigate US claims that 24 of its diplomatic staff members have been affected by physical harm, including hearing impairment, in recent months.

The US has floated the idea that some form of “sonic attack” may have taken place. Cuban officials have rejected that as “science fiction.”

Washington expelled 15 Cuban diplomats and recalled more than half of the American diplomatic personnel in Havana earlier in October.

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Later, US President Donald Trump also accused Havana of being responsible for the physical harm done to the American diplomats.

Cuba and the US became ideological foes soon after the 1959 revolution that brought the late Fidel Castro to power. They broke off diplomatic relations in 1961, and the US placed an official embargo against the country in 1962. Their ties remained hostile even after the end of the Cold War.

However, the administration of former President Barack Obama re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2015.

Last modified onSunday, 29 October 2017 19:01

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