Press Statement by Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General for U.S. Affairs.
Havana, January 9, 2018. In the morning of January 9, a hearing of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations was held, which was organized by Marco Rubio, the Republican Senator for Florida and co-chaired by Robert Menendez, the Democrat Senator for New Jersey, who have a vast work history against the betterment of relations between Cuba and the United States and are promoters of all sort of legislative and political proposals that affect the interests of the Cuban and U.S. peoples and only benefit a minority that is increasingly becoming more isolated and that has historically made profits out of the aggression against Cuba.
The very title, “Attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba”, evidenced that the real purpose of the hearing to which three high-ranking officials of the Department of State were summoned, was not to establish the truth, but to impose by force and with no evidence whatsoever, an accusation which they have been unable to proof.
Nobody is surprised by the unwarranted allegations, or the fabrications made up by the Anti-Cuba senators, whose sole political agenda throughout the years has been to lead our two countries into a confrontation, regardless of the consequences. Their complete unscrupulousness and lack of credibility is well known. The great victim of today’s hearing has been the truth.
The Cuban government regards as unacceptable the irresponsible declarations made by Francisco Palmieri, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.
Dr. Charles Rosenfarb, Medical Director of the Bureau of Medical Services of the U.S. Department of State said that there are a multitude of symptoms that are not attributable to a specific cause and that there is a lack of certainty on the causal agent. Todd Brown, Assistant Director for International Programs of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service stated that experts have been unable to identify the cause or the perpetrator. And Mr. Palmieri used on several occasions the term attacks. It was made clear that this is an unwarranted accusation against Cuba.
The Department of State has no evidence whatsoever that allows it to affirm that there has been attacks against its diplomats in Havana, or that Cuba could be responsible for or be aware of actions carried out by third-parties.
On the contrary, months of thorough probes have proven that there has been no attack.
I categorically reiterate that the Cuban government has no responsibility whatsoever in the health conditions reported by U.S. diplomats. Cuba has never perpetrated nor will it ever perpetrate any act against the physical integrity of any diplomat without exception, and has never permitted nor will it ever permit any actions by third parties for that purpose. The Cuban government is mindful of its responsibilities and complies with them in an exemplary manner.
Once again, I affirm that the investigation conducted by the Cuban authorities, the results of which have been made available to the Department of State and the U.S. specialized agencies for their wide and systematic access, have concluded that there is no evidence leading to the occurrence of the alleged incidents and that no attack of any sort has been carried out.
Nothing in the information provided by the U.S. government throughout this period or even today leads, based on evidences, that the health conditions reported by the diplomats may have had their origin or cause in Cuba.
We reject the politicization of this issue and the unwarranted measures adopted by the U.S. government, with a high cost for our population, the Cuban immigration and the U.S. people.
We also denounce the political manipulation of these events by Anti-Cuba elements who seek to aggravate the bilateral climate, with the sole purpose of returning to a confrontational stage with negative consequences for both countries and the region.
Cuba is a safe, peaceful and healthy country for Cubans, foreigners, accredited diplomats and for millions of people that visit us every year, including Americans.