Cuba Rejects Allegations by High-Ranking U.S. Official

Havana, Jan 10 (Prensa Latina) Cuba slammed as irresponsible statements made by Deputy Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Francisco Palmieri, regarding alleged health incidents suffered by Washington diplomats in Havana.

Director General of the United States Department of the Ministry of Foreign Relations (Minrex), Josefina Vidal, stressed that such allegations are unacceptable for the Cuban Government, adding Palmieri’s statements on tuesday’s hearing at the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate have no basis at all.

According to Vidal, the hearing organized by Republican Senator Marco Rubio and his Democrat colleague Robert Menendez is an affront to truth and is a further sign of total lack of scruples and credibility of both legislators, recognized for their political agenda greared for many years to push the U.S. and Cuba into confrontation.

The Cuban official categorically denied any responsibility of Cuban authorities on the alleged health problems reported by U.S. diplomats, and underlined that Cuba has never perpetrated nor it would do harm to any foreign representative, not it would allowed third parties act against the physical integrity of any diplomat, without exception.

The State Department has no evidence whatsoever to sustain there were attacks against its diplomats in Havana, neither to hold Cuba responsible for those actions, she added.

Vidal also rejected the politization of this issue and the unjustified measures taken by the White House with a high cost for Cuban emigration and the population. A recent report of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) confirmed that in their multiple trips to Havana, their agents did not find any proof of the mysterious illnesses that result from those alleged ‘attacks’, as U.S. authorities name them and which served as preterxt to hinder relations with Havana.

Republican Senator for Arizona, Jeff Flake, who met last Friday with Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez shared the same opinion.

In statements to reporters, the also member of the Foreign Relations Commission of the upper house, asserted U.S. authorities do not have any evidence that the diplomats had been victims of attacks with an unknown weapon.

The U.S. administration used the media to spread diplomats suffered migraine, dizziness, loss of hearing and slight brain injuries during their work in Cuba. The first cases were reported in November 2016 after Donald Trump won the elections. At the end of September 2017, the Department of State ordered the withdrawal of 60 percent of its personnel in Cuba and a little later the White House announced measures restricting individual trips to the island, approved during the government of president Barack Obama (2009-2017).

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