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Havana slams Washington over its ‘sonic attack’ claims

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez accused the United States on Tuesday of “politicising” unfounded allegations that it had carried out “sonic attacks” on embassy staff.

Mr Rodriguez spoke to journalists after the US State Department confirmed it was demanding that the Cuban embassy in Washington reduce its staff by 15 — some 60 per cent — in line with its own withdrawal of about 30 out of 50 diplomats from Havana.

That action followed a travel warning to US holidaymakers planning to visit the tropical island on Friday that has already harmed Cuba’s important tourist industry.

Mr Rodriguez said Washington had taken both steps before concluding its investigation into the alleged incident, which is said to have left 21 US embassy staff unwell from exposure to high-pitched noises, the Cuban News Agency and Prensa Latina reported.

The minister said it was the second time that US President Donald Trump’s administration had acted pre-emptively without evidence, having expelled two Cuban diplomats on May 23.

He said that the US had only reported the incidents, which supposedly began in November last year, to the Cuban government on February 21.

Mr Rodriguez said that US officials had given insufficient information on the harm caused to the diplomats — and to intelligence agents working under cover of the embassy.

He reiterated Cuba’s commitment to international conventions on the protection of other nations’ diplomats and their families.

The minister insisted that security masures for the US embassy and its staff had been strengthened after the incidents were first reported.

And he asked Washington for more details on the claims so that Cuba’s authorities could carry out their own investigation, adding that Havana did not even know what technology could have caused the claimed health effects.

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