Havana, March 5, 2018.- The decision by the United States Government, which unilaterally maintains the drawdown of its staff at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba indefinitely, is politically motivated and has no relation whatsoever with the safety and security of its officials in Havana, said the General Director for U.S. Affairs of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Carlos Fernández de Cossío in his statement to the press.
According to the diplomat, the measure has particular impact on the consular services on which dozens of thousands of citizens depend, who are forced to incur on additional expenses, as they have to travel to third countries to apply for temporary or immigrant visas.
Therefore, he said, the United States has imposed a financial punishment on dozens of thousands of people, as well as anguish and insecurity on the relationship of those people with their families and close friends.
He underscored that the U.S. government is responsible for the humanitarian cost of this measure.
In addition, he rejected the reuse by the State Department of the term attacks as it knows for certain that there have been no attacks nor has it been any deliberate act against U.S. diplomats in Cuba. Fernández de Cossío also stated that none of the reports issued by the State Department or by the different experts, including the scientific community, provides evidence indicating that an attack took place in Cuba. The specialized agencies and the U.S. scientific community have confirmed that there is no evidence of an attack having taken place.
“It is a term whose use entails an ill intention and is not in keeping with the vocabulary or the content of the official exchanges”, he stated.
Likewise, the General Director for U.S. Affairs characterized as hostile and slanderous the alert that recommends travelers to reconsider visiting Cuba, which was issued on March 2.
In his opinion, said travel alert is based on political motives and has no relation to the health of officials or with the concern for travelers.
“It is not true that the diplomatic staff of the Embassy is or has been at risk. It is not true that said staff has been targeted. It is not true that a deliberate action against diplomats from the United States has been allowed or taken place in Cuba by anybody. It is not true that U.S. citizens have reasons to fear for their safety and security in Cuba”, he said.
“The U.S. government has enough evidence that Cuba is a safe country for U.S. diplomats and for diplomats from any country, as it is for Cuban citizens, foreign residents and for millions of travelers from all corners of the world who visit Cuba every year”.
“The government of the United States and its State Department know perfectly well that Cuba fully observes its responsibilities with regard to the attention and protection of the Diplomatic Corps”.
On the arbitrary and unwarranted expulsion of 17 diplomatic officials of the Embassy of Cuba in Washington D.C., in the past October, Fernandez de Cossío stated that said act was an additional confirmation of the fact that with regard to this issue the State Department acts in response to political motives.
“Cuba is and will continue to be a safe, stable and attractive country. It remains willing to engage in a respectful dialogue and to advance issues that concern the lives of millions of peoples”.
“The announcement by the State Department on the past March 2 is based on another political fabrication that adds to the long history of hostility which is very well known to the people of Cuba”, he concluded.