Background Briefing: State Department Official on Cuba
State Department Official
October 3, 2017
This morning, the Department of State informed the Government of Cuba it was ordering the departure of 15 of its officials from its embassy in Washington, D.C. This move does not signal a change of policy or determination of responsibility for the attacks on U.S. Government personnel in Cuba. We are maintaining diplomatic relations with Havana. The decision on expulsions was taken due to Cuba’s inability to protect our diplomats in Havana, as well as to ensure equity in the impact on our respective operations.
As you know, on September 29th, the department ordered the departure of nonemergency personnel assigned to the U.S. embassy in Havana, as well as all family members. Investigations into the attacks are ongoing, as investigators have been unable to determine who or what is causing these attacks.
Regarding the attacks, there are now 22 persons medically confirmed to have experienced health effects due to the attacks on diplomatic personnel in Havana. This information was confirmed yesterday after the decision-making process for the expulsions was well underway. The Cuban Government has told us it will continue its investigation into these attacks, and we will continue to cooperate that – with them in this effort. We will also continue our own investigations into these attacks. (Read full text at U.S. Department of State's website)