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Reports: U.S. Set To Order Cuba To Reduce Embassy Staff In Washington


The U.S. Embassy in Havana

U.S. news agencies are reporting that the United States plans to expel about 60 percent of Cuba’s embassy staff in Washington after announcing it would pull its own personnel out of Havana following a series of unexplained "attacks."

The Associated Press and Reuters news agencies, citing congressional sources, reported on October 2 that the announcement could come as early as October 3.

The U.S. State Department on September 29 said it was cutting diplomatic staff at its embassy in Cuba by about 60 percent amid a wave of mysterious incidents that have injured 21 personnel.

U.S. officials said the Havana embassy would remain open and provide emergency services but that routine visa processing would be suspended.

U.S. investigators, including FBI agents, have been trying to determine what has caused the injuries, which include hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, headache, fatigue, and cognitive issues.

The reports of health problems stretch back a year, with the most recent one being reported in late August, U.S. officials said.

Cuba has denied involvement in the attacks.

The two countries restored diplomatic ties in 2015 after more than five decades, and U.S. tourism to the island has jumped markedly since then.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and The Miami Herald
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