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US Expels 15 Cuban Diplomats After Mysterious Attacks

  • Cindy Saine

A member of the Cuban honor guard stands next to a new plaque at the front door of the newly reopened Cuban embassy in Washington, July 20, 2015.

The Trump administration has ordered the expulsion of 15 diplomats from Cuba's embassy in Washington less than a week after the U.S. reduced its diplomatic presence in Havana following mysterious attacks on U.S. personnel in Cuba.

"The decision was made due to Cuba’s failure to take appropriate steps to protect our diplomats in accordance with its obligations under the Vienna Convention," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement.

On Friday the State Department announced it would pull all non-essential diplomatic personnel out of Cuba in response to "health attacks" on 21 American diplomats in Havana.

Over the past several months those employees reported a variety of symptoms, including hearing loss, dizziness, cognitive issues and trouble sleeping. In a statement announcing the U.S. draw down, Secretary of State Rex TIllerson said investigators couldn't determine the cause of those health issues or who might be responsible.

So far, the United States hasn't officially accused Cuba of being behind the attacks, but the State Department did expel two Cuban diplomats in May after the attacks first came to light, saying that Cuba had failed to protect the safety of diplomats on Cuban soil.

Cuba has denied involvement in the attacks and said it is cooperating with the U.S. investigation.

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