The Cuban authorities issued an official statement read by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parilla, during which for 15 minutes he explained in detail the current controversy between the Cuban and U.S. authorities regarding the so-called “sonic war”.
Rodríguez Parrilla described as “unfounded and unacceptable” the reaction of the White House to withdraw part of its diplomatic staff from its embassy in Havana, stating that there is no evidence that an “attack” has been carried out against these people. He also questioned the possible reasons for returning to the island the 15 Cuban diplomats expelled from Washington.
“Hasty, inappropriate and unthinking” were other terms used by the Cuban Minister for President Trump’s current Cuba policy. Later on in his speech he assured that the Island possessed “an impeccable history” in the protection of foreign diplomats according to the Convention of Vienna.
The Foreign Minister assured that no Cuban consular official was carrying out intelligence work.
Some of the highlights from his speech and in the responses offered to the press are detailed below:
- So far there is not a hint of evidence implicating Cuba in the events being investigated.
- Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez affirmed that during his recent meeting with Secretary of State Tillerson, the Secretary did not provide any new information to the Cuban side, or any evidence or conclusive results of the ongoing investigation.
- The Cuban authorities reiterated the need for effective cooperation. The Minister said that after very professional surveys the evidence offered by the American side has been considered irrelevant. Cuba pointed out that the main obstacle to clarifying the facts has been the lack of direct access to those affected and the doctors who examined them, the late delivery of evidence and their lack of value.
- In the statement by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, it is the first time that the word “attacks” has been used, rather than “incidents”, which had been used to this point by the U.S. authorities.
- The United States accuses Cuba of not having taken all necessary measures to prevent any attack on the physical integrity, liberty or dignity of accredited US diplomatic personnel. But it does not say that the attacks have occurred.
- According to the State Department press statement, the reason for ordering the departure of Cuban diplomats from U.S. territory is that the U.S. government itself has reduced its diplomatic staff on the island.
- It is the first time that the Cuban authorities allow, at least publicly acknowledged, U.S. security agencies to come to Cuba and investigate a case.
- State department officials, according to Bruno Rodríguez, have been misinforming and leaking information to the American press for political purposes and shielding themselves as anonymous sources.
- This morning (Oct. 3) an anonymous official, who gave a press conference, announced that an affected diplomat has appeared, a case that occurred in January of this year. He also said that it was released now because it was reevaluated. Meanwhile, Cuba insists on being notified in real time when new evidence, affectations or symptoms are discovered. The Cuban minister referred to this approach as lacking seriousness.
- During the Tuesday press conference in Washington the official left many questions unanswered. He said it is clear that U.S. personnel on the island are suffering from attacks that come from someone who is using unknown ways and methods.
- After taking measures to reduce staff at both embassies, the State Department official said the impact of those measures on the issue of family reunification and the issuance of visas for immigrants and visitors to the United States would be assessed.
- Both the withdrawal of U.S. personnel in Havana and the withdrawal of Cuban personnel in Washington are unilateral measures. They are not actions of reciprocity, since Cuba has not taken any action that can be reciprocated.
- According to the Cuban Foreign Minister, the Cuban consulate’s situation in Washington is “extremely precarious”, since after the decision of the United States to expel its personnel, there is only one Cuban consular official left.
- Bruno Rodríguez stated that the measures taken by the Cuban side have included the reinforcement of measures to protect U.S. personnel, and that no additional measures have been adopted because of the State Department’s own decision.
- Most of the incidents that occurred were reported by the United States months after they happened.
- Cuban experts have not had the opportunity to visit affected places involving residences of diplomatic personnel because they have been stopped by the U.S. side.
- The Minister also said that there have been no meetings between the medical staff integrating this research with the American medical specialists, which “has been repeatedly requested.” There have also been no possible meetings between experts on both sides regarding technology and other aspects of the investigation.
- The Cuban authorities maintain contact and cooperation with the Canadian authorities.
- The policies announced last June 16 by President Donald Trump and “other events that have taken place” are indeed a setback and have weakened the bilateral relationship.
- The decision to remove diplomatic personnel from our embassy in Washington is an act of a political nature, and does not respond in any way to the results of the ongoing investigation, said Rodriguez. These measures only benefit “those who want to derail the possibility that relations between both countries continue to advance.”
- MINREX reiterates Cuba’s willingness to continue fostering serious and objective cooperation between the authorities of both countries.
Click here to read the declaration by Cuba’s Foreign Ministry.
Below is the press conference (in Spanish):