President Donald Trump's administration reportedly plans to expel a majority of Cubas embassy staff from the United States, after American diplomats in Havana were targeted in a mysterious attack that resulted in sudden brain injuries, the media reported.
The 15 Cuban diplomats selected by the USA will have a week to leave, a State Department official said.
Pressed on this point, the State Department official said it was Cuba's responsibility under worldwide law to ensure the wellbeing of USA diplomatic personnel, and not on the United States to outline criteria.
The attacks, initially described as emanating from some sort of acoustic device, have affected at least 22 USA embassy staff in Havana over the past few months.
The mysterious attacks on embassy personnel reportedly caused dizziness, hearing loss, and fatigue.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration continued severing diplomatic relations with Cuba when it told 15 diplomats to leave Cuba's embassy in Washington, D.C., within a week.
The steps being taken by President Donald Trump's administration mark another blow to his predecessor, Barack Obama's, policy of rapprochement between Washington and Havana, former Cold War foes.
In late September, Tillerson said he was withdrawing more than half the personnel from its embassy in Cuba in response to the mysterious attacks.
USA officials had previously refrained from calling it "attacks", instead using the vague language of "incidents". The state department said the USA was cooperating with that investigation while conducting its own. "What it does is require the Cuban government to be able to fulfill their obligations with the safety and well being and protection of foreign diplomats in their country".
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In Havana, the USA had roughly 54 diplomats in its embassy until deciding Friday to pull more than half of them out and leave behind only "essential personnel".
The United States is kicking out 15 of Cuba's diplomats in a row over alleged attacks on USA staff in Havana.
The ministry said USA "specialised agencies" visited Havana three times, in June, August and September.
"Our position. does not presume Cuban culpability", the official said.
That designation would prevent them ever from returning.
The US as well issued a travel warning for Americans thinking of visiting the communist-run island.
Expelling Cuban diplomats does not reflect an assignment of blame, a senior State Department official told reporters ahead of the announcement.
Cuba has a week to recall its staff, the official said.
"The first disturbing reports of piercing, high-pitched noises and inexplicable ailments pointed to someone deliberately targeting the USA government's intelligence network on the communist-run island in what seemed like a bone-chilling escalation of the tit-for-tat spy games that Washington and Havana have waged over the last half century", the AP three declared.