State Department Issues Cuba Travel Warning Over Sonic Attacks


In the meanwhile, the Department has ordered all USA nonemergency government employees and their families to leave the island.

USA officials said the Havana embassy staff was being limited to "emergency personnel" in order to "reduce the number of Americans who are vulnerable to exposure". He believes the State Department did the right thing by issuing a travel warning urging all Americans not to travel to Cuba because they might be at risk.

Over the last two years, USA airlines have begun direct flights to Cuba, tourism has surged and numerous travel and commerce restrictions were lifted.

The State Department also announced that it will indefinitely suspend granting visas to Cubans in Havana, a measure that violates Washington's commitment to awarding at least 20,000 visas a year to Cubans.

"The investigation into the attacks is ongoing as investigators have have been unable to determine who or what is causing these attacks", one senior State Department official said.

The maintaining diplomatic ties with Cuba, re-established under former president Barack Obama.

Today (Sept. 29), the Department of State released an official warning against travel to Cuba after several U.S. Embassy Havana employees wound up ill, with ear complaints and hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping. That includes visa processing for Cubans seeking to visit the US, the officials said. The order is coupled with a new travel notice issued Friday warning US citizens against traveling to Cuba.

"But we can not rule out given the nature of these attacks that the American public traveling to Cuba might be at risk as well", the official said.

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Surely if the Cuban government can't help resolve this ongoing health danger to US diplomats, their own diplomatic personnel ought not be welcomed among the civilized confines of Embassy Row.

The State Department warned that the attacks on US diplomats had occurred at their residences and at hotels frequented by American citizens.

The State Department is expected to stop short of saying it will close the recently reopened embassy because of the mysterious affair, despite Tillerson having said last week that such a move was under consideration. "With the loss of hearing and stroke-like-symptoms, the Cuban government owes an explanation and reparations to the families of those injured and must work to ensure these attacks cease immediately", he said. Symptoms of those affected include: "air complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, kenititis, balance problems, visual complaints, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping", according to the US official. In response to the United States alert, JetBlue Airways waiving fees to cancel or change travel to Cuba that was booked on or before Friday, the carrier said in a statement.

"Whoever is behind these serious and inexcusable attacks on American diplomats must be apprehended and brought to justice", Williams continued.

The warning against US citizens visiting Cuba could crimp efforts by companies including Carnival Corp.'s cruise line and American Airlines Group expand tourism to the island nation.

President Trump's administration is careful not to blame Cuba for perpetrating the attacks.

"The decision to reduce our diplomatic presence in Havana was done to preserve the safety of our USA personnel", an official told reporters on a conference call Friday morning.