President Trump expels 15 Cuban diplomats following mysterious 'sonic attacks'

The Cuban national flag is seen raised over their embassy in Washington DC

The official added, though, that a full US presence in Havana depends on "full assurances" from Cuba of USA personnel safety. AFSA's President Barbara Stephenson put out a statement opposing the US decision to reduce its staff in Havana. Carrasco's visa had been approved prior to the announcement.

The reductions are just the latest step in the rapidly unraveling US-Cuban relations that were restored in 2015 by former President Barack Obama.

The American Foreign Service Association, or AFSA, is the professional association of the U.S. Foreign Service.

At least 21 diplomats and family members have been affected.

Over the past several months, numerous U.S. Embassy Havana employees have been targeted in specific attacks.

On Friday, Washington issued a travel warning for the island and said it was reducing by about 60% its diplomatic staffing at the United States embassy in Havana.

Late last week, Tillerson announced in a similar statement that the State Department would withdraw all "non-essential" staff from the Havana embassy and urge all Americans to avoid Cuba, as the attacks appear to have taken place in areas "frequented by us citizens" not affiliated with the government.

Tillerson clarified that diplomatic relations between the two countries will continue during the investigations into the mysterious attacks, according to The New York Times. This amounted to more than half of the American staff at the embassy.

The announcement comes just days after the US pulled roughly 60 percent of its embassy staff from Havana, the Cuban capital, after the string of "sonic attacks" against USA diplomats, according to CNN.

United States of America deported 15 Cuban diplomats for what the Cuban government failed to protect American diplomats in Havana from a mysterious acoustic attacks.

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Various reports have described the attacks as acoustic in nature, using sound waves to cause hearing loss, headaches, concussion-like symptoms, and brain damage.

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.

Rubio, who had been calling for the State Department to retaliate against Cuba for the attacks, applauded the decision on Tuesday.

Cuba has vehemently denied involvement or knowledge of the attacks. What's more, the paper says investigators "have been unable to duplicate in a lab the effects the diplomats have experienced".

Both the US and Cuba will see their diplomatic staffing in their embassies drop to the lowest levels in years.

The US government was preparing to ask Cuba to cut its embassy staff in Washington by 60 per cent, China's Xinhua news agency reported citing the local media on Monday. Three of the spouses worked at the embassy.

The removal of 15 will reduce the Cuban staff to roughly a dozen accredited diplomats.

But as of today, the relations between the United States and Cuba are entering a zombie stage just under three years after President Obama made a decision to renew them.

"The decision to call them attacks reflects that there's been a consistent pattern of our people being affected", he said. Pressed on this point, the State Department official said it was Cuba's responsibility under global law to ensure the wellbeing of US diplomatic personnel, and not on the United States to outline criteria. For Tillerson, the measure "will ensure equity in our respective diplomatic operations".

Almost two dozen U.S. personnel have suffered unexplained ill health in the city.



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