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Cuba Cuts Power to US Office in Havana


Cuba has cut off electricity to the United States' diplomatic office in Havana, and the U.S. State Department says communist authorities on the island have not responded to questions about the action.

Officials here in Washington say electrical service to the U.S. office in Havana was cut on June 5. Swiss diplomats, who technically represent U.S. interests in Cuba, and American staff have appealed in vain for service to be restored.

A U.S. spokesman says no similar power problems have affected nearby buildings in downtown Havana near the U.S. Interests Section office. American officials describe the incident as harassment arising from U.S. efforts to inform Cuban citizens about human-rights issues.

Cuban authorities have complained in the past about an illuminated outdoor sign at the U.S. office that displays messages about democracy and human rights.

Despite the electricity interruption, U.S. officials say the Havana office is operating normally, using generators to supply power.

A news report in Miami on Monday said U.S. diplomats in Cuba have been the victims of a series of nuisance attacks, including vandalism of cars and window-smashing at their homes.