WASHINGTON - Republican Sen. Marco Rubio on Friday lashed out at the State Department for its handling of a mysterious situation at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.
“In light of these harmful attacks against American diplomatic personnel in Cuba, it is weak, unacceptable and outrageous for the U.S. State Department to allow Raul Castro to keep as many of his operatives in the U.S. as he wants,” Rubio said. “The Cuban government has failed its obligation under international treaties to keep foreign diplomats safe on its soil. The idea that Cuba knows nothing about how these attacks took place and who perpetrated them is absurd. The State Department must conduct its own investigation independent of the Castro regime and submit a comprehensive report to Congress. Until those responsible for these attacks are brought to justice, the U.S. should immediately expel an equal number of Cuban operatives, downgrade the U.S. embassy in Havana to an interests section, and consider relisting Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism.”
Bill Nelson, Rubio’s Democratic counterpart, also called for a reduction in Cuba’s diplomatic presence on American soil.
“The fact that the Cuban government isn’t protecting the health and wellbeing of our U.S. Embassy personnel is inexcusable,” Nelson said in a statement. “With the loss of hearing and stroke-like-symptoms, the Cuban government owes an explanation and reparations to the families of those injured and must work to ensure these attacks cease immediately. In the meantime, the Cuban Embassy’s staff in Washington, D.C. should be reduced by the same proportionate number of U.S. personnel recalled.”