WASHINGTON – Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez branded on Saturday as totally false the alleged sonic attacks that affected at least 24 US diplomats in Cuba, and denounced the claim as political manipulation meant to damage relations between the two counties.
At a meeting with Cubans in Washington, Rodriguez repeated his criticism of the tough response of the Donald Trump government to the alleged attacks suffered by US diplomats between late 2016 and last August, which have supposedly caused them hearing loss, dizziness and cognitive issues.
“The so-called sonic attacks ... are totally false,” Rodriguez said, calling the allegations “political manipulation aimed at damaging bilateral relations.”
He said that on the pretext of the so-called sonic attacks, “there has been a serious deterioration in the relationship between both governments and both countries.”
In response to the attacks, the United States withdrew most of its diplomatic personnel from Havana and advised Americans not to visit the island, while by way of reprisal it ordered the departure of 15 Cuban diplomats from their embassy in Washington, joining another two who were expelled last May.
He said it was “unacceptable and immoral” from the Cuban government’s point of view that “any political differences” between the two countries should not lead to “decisions of a political nature that hurt the Cuban people.”
But it would be worthwhile, he said, asking the State Department for the real reason why the US has dismantled the Cuban Consulate in Washington, leaving it in a very precarious state with just one consul.
He also lamented the alternative given by the US State Department to Cubans wishing to travel to the United States, now that they are faced with the suspension of consular services in their embassy – which would entail traveling to Colombia to process their visas, a practically impossible complication for many islanders.
Such politically motivated inconveniences damage the right of Cuban families to visit the US, visit their relatives and have family reunions, said Rodriguez in speaking to the 4th Meeting of Cuban Residents in the United States, held in Washington.
Rodriguez is currently on a visit to the United States to take part this Tuesday in the annual vote by the UN General Assembly on the US embargo on Cuba.