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Cuba again denies role in 'health attacks' on US diplomats

World News
Wed, 20 Sep 2017
AP
1 of 2

New York: The Cuban government on Tuesday again denied any involvement in or any knowledge of a mysterious series of health incidents that have affected American diplomats in Havana.

Cuba also strongly objected to President Donald Trump's critical comments about the island in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly.

At a meeting on law enforcement cooperation in Washington on Tuesday, Cuba's top diplomat for the Americas, Josefina Vidal, said Cuba has never and would never commit or allow what Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has described as "health attacks" on any foreign diplomat on its territory.

"Cuba strictly observes its obligations to protect foreign diplomats on its soil," the Cuban embassy in Washington said in a statement.

"Cuba has never perpetrated nor will it ever perpetrate actions of this nature, and has never permitted nor will it ever permit any third-party use of its territory for this purpose," it said.

It said the government had ordered investigations into the incidents and asked for cooperation from U.S. authorities, which it called "essential."

At least 21 members of the American diplomatic community in Havana have suffered from symptoms, including brain damage, believed to have come from some sort of sonic attack since late last year. The most recent incident was in August.

On Trump's UN speech, the Cuban statement was sharp, calling his remarks "disrespectful, unacceptable and meddling," especially while the meeting in Washington was taking place.

"The Cuban delegation voiced a strong protest," it said.

Trump has vowed to roll back the Obama administration's rapprochement with Cuba and has said he will not further ease sanctions until Havana adopts democratic reforms.

In his speech, he called the Cuban government "corrupt and destabilising."

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