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Power Restored to US Mission in Cuba


Power has been restored to the U.S. diplomatic Interests Section in Havana, after Washington accused the Cuban government of deliberating cutting the electricity and Havana angrily denied it.

U.S. officials say the electricity returned Tuesday afternoon following an eight-day outage that forced the mission to use generator power.

The State Department Monday said the power was turned off as part of what it termed "bullying tactics" by the Cubans. It said Cuba had refused to restore service despite appeals from both American and Swiss diplomats, who technically represent U.S. interests in Cuba.

Cuban President Fidel Castro's government "categorically denied" the cuts were premeditated. Cuban officials also said through state-run media that a faulty underground electric circuit was to blame.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack Tuesday noted Cuba's government controls the power company and that the Interests Section was the only building in the downtown Havana area to lose power.

Cuban authorities have complained in the past about an electronic signboard on the mission's facade that runs messages promoting democracy and human rights.

Earlier this year, Havana officials set up a wall of huge flags to block the board from view.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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