Cuba slams U.S. for calling mysterious illness affecting American, Canadian diplomats an ‘attack’ – National


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HAVANA — Cuba denounced the Trump administration on Thursday for persevering with to seek advice from well being incidents amongst their diplomats in Havana as “assaults” with out presenting any proof, saying it was a part of a broader marketing campaign to wreck bilateral relations.

Each Canada and the US have in the reduction of their embassies in Havana to skeletal staffing after diplomats there started complaining about mysterious bouts of dizziness, complications and nausea two years in the past.

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But whereas Republican U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which has vowed to unravel the detente with Cuba began by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, was fast to label the incidents “assaults,” Canada has not.

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A Canadian authorities official stated in January that Cuban officers appeared as annoyed as Canadian ones over not having the ability to decide a trigger.

“The subject has been extremely manipulated politically by the U.S. authorities, with unfounded accusations, which were a pretext to take measures in opposition to bilateral relations,” the Overseas Ministry’s director of U.S. affairs, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, informed a information convention in Havana.

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Cuban-U.S. relations have nosedived since Trump turned president, tightening the decades-old commerce and journey embargo on Cuba as soon as extra. Over the previous 12 months, he has staffed his administration with officers with lengthy pasts of denouncing Cuban communism.

Final month, he vowed the times of socialism and communism in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua had been numbered.

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“This manipulation can also be serving those that wish to reinforce the concept Cuba is a menace and people who opportunistically look to catalogue Cuba as a rustic that sponsors terrorism,” Fernandez de Cossio stated.

Whereas Cuba didn’t doubt some diplomats had fallen in poor health, to this point there was nothing to recommend this had not been resulting from a pre-existing situation, pure causes and even psychological suggestion, he stated.

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The relative lack of U.S. authorities’ cooperation with Cuba on its investigation into the incidents didn’t tally with the priority it alleged, he added.

In contrast, cooperation with Canada had been a lot better, he stated. “Canada didn’t make accusations in direction of Cuba concerning assaults; Canadian politicians haven’t come out threatening us or making irresponsible declarations,” stated Fernandez de Cossio.

The Cuban authorities criticized Canada’s choice in January to chop the variety of diplomatic employees in Cuba by as much as half after one other individual fell in poor health, bringing the overall of Canadians struggling unexplained signs to 14.

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It stated the transfer wouldn’t assist clear up the thriller and would harm bilateral relations.

Nonetheless Fernandez de Cossio stated cooperation was passable and would proceed.

“We aspire for there to not be any larger injury to our relationships (with Canada), nor can we see any motive for there to be,” he stated.

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