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Leahy writes: "Despite the objection of the American Foreign Service Association, the State Department has taken severe punitive measures against Cuba. Over the past few weeks, they have slashed personnel and cut off all consular services at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, expelled Cuban diplomats and severely limited consular services at the Cuban Embassy in Washington, and issued a Cuba Travel Warning for all Americans."

Woman holds Cuban and American flags. (photo: Reuters)
Woman holds Cuban and American flags. (photo: Reuters)


Destroying the Progress Between the United States and Cuba

By Senator Patrick Leahy, Reader Supported News

20 October 17


Whoever is responsible for attacks on U.S. Embassy personnel has a clear agenda. We can’t let them succeed.

s a former prosecutor, before I charged someone with a crime I wanted to see the evidence, and before I took a case to trial I wanted a motive. While criminal law and diplomacy are obviously different, taking action based on evidence should be a standard formula.

For almost a year, multiple U.S. government agencies have been trying to determine what caused at least 22 U.S. Embassy personnel in Cuba to suffer hearing loss, dizziness, cognitive difficulties and other illnesses while in their apartments or hotels. The FBI has sent investigators to Cuba three times – something unimaginable before the rapprochement between the United States and Cuba in December 2014. State Department officials have stated that the Cuban government has cooperated. Canadian Embassy personnel were also afflicted, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been to Cuba.

While the investigation is ongoing, at this point the White House has no idea what or who caused these incidents or why. While some speculate that the Cubans know more than they are saying, there is no evidence linking these attacks to the Cuban government and no definitive acoustical or other technological explanation.

Yet despite the objection of the American Foreign Service Association, the State Department has taken severe punitive measures. Over the past few weeks, they have slashed personnel and cut off all consular services at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, expelled Cuban diplomats and severely limited consular services at the Cuban Embassy in Washington, and issued a Cuba Travel Warning for all Americans.

These actions are not only counter-productive to solving this mystery, but will inevitably punish the Cuban people, separate Cuban-Americans from their loved ones on the island, hurt U.S. companies interested in doing business in Cuba, and disrupt further progress between our countries on academic and cultural exchanges, negotiations over fugitives and property claims, public health, and maritime security.

We have a duty to protect our diplomats. These diplomats and their families suffering from unexplained illnesses deserve answers. The perpetrators of these serious and inexcusable attacks against American diplomats must be apprehended and held accountable. But expelling Cuban diplomats in Washington won’t bring us any answers. Rather, it creates further distance between our two governments and may make this harder to solve.

Whoever is responsible for these attacks has a clear agenda: to sabotage the nascent rapprochement between the United States and Cuba. We can’t let them succeed.

While we don’t know who is responsible, we do know there is a clear motivation for our foreign adversaries, like Russia, to drive a wedge between the United States and Cuba to help achieve their geopolitical goals. And, as we are seeing increasingly around the world, when we disengage our adversaries rush in.

Unsurprisingly, the Canadians have not withdrawn their diplomats, nor have they issued a travel warning or ordered Cuban diplomats to leave Canada. Without a shred of evidence, nor a motive, linking the Cuban government to these incidents, it appears as though our actions were driven by political expediency, not diplomacy.

If whoever is responsible for this wants to destroy the détente between our country and Cuba, they are succeeding. If, on the other hand, the State Department wants to protect our diplomats and advance U.S. interests, it should do everything possible, including cooperate fully with the Cuban government and regional public health experts, to solve this mystery so our embassies can quickly resume normal operations.


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+9 # Thomas Martin 2017-10-20 23:34
The best outcome of this would have been for the US not to "shoot from the hip", which, unfortunately, we've already done - after all, we have Trump as our "President"
 
 
+6 # jimmythelark 2017-10-21 03:15
"If whoever is responsible for this wants to destroy the détente between our country and Cuba, they are succeeding."- the CANF. There's your problem ?? In the 60's the rich ( filthy rich )left CUBA and came to the USA. Should have stayed in CUBA and fought for your country?? Castro was smart he emptied his prisons and sent ALL of them to MIAMI !! Don't expect the U.S.A to make you WHOLE- You have SUCKED so much money from OUR country already !! Castro was a good man- have been to CUBA several times - even with the USA fucking with him his whole life he achieved a lot for the "real CUBANS". Cuba could be a paradise if the USA (CANF) would just leave them alone !!! The USA should leave Guantanamo Bay - we stole it from CUBA- a real drain on our resources- it's useless to us !! Katrina killed 1500 people in USA - In CUBA - 0 CUBANS died !! WHY??? Castro knew how to take care of HIS PEOPLE!!! US politicians (especially those in Miami ) should be castrated and returned to CUBA where they belong !!! Hell !! let's send all of our current politicians to CUBA or better yet some ISLAND " with alot of "WATER AROUND IT." as our pres would "SAY" !!!
 
 
+6 # Salburger 2017-10-21 03:55
1st it needs to be demonstrated that there were attacks— so far no mechanism for any such “attacks” has been identified. And if there were attacks then qui bono points to Miami
 
 
+6 # kalpal 2017-10-21 04:15
Trump's hatred of Obama rears its ugly head
 
 
+8 # tedrey 2017-10-21 08:00
Since Senator Leahy, admitting there is no evidence, hints at Russian involvement, may I be allowed, also admitting there is no evidence, hint at State Department and/or Cuban exile involvement? Why leave them out?
 
 
+8 # David Starr 2017-10-21 08:28
As with other posters here, I get the feeling the anti-Castro, right-wing exiles may have a hand in this.

When asked what the U.S. could do for Cuba, Che Guevara said (paraphrasing) that it doesn't matter. "Just leave us alone."
 
 
+2 # PABLO DIABLO 2017-10-22 15:17
'Whoever is responsible for these attacks has a clear agenda: to sabotage the nascent rapprochement between the United States and Cuba."
Sounds like something Trump would do to throw red meat to his base.
 

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