Cuba re­futes US claims over sick em­bassy staff

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

CUBA has de­nied any wrong­do­ing af­ter fac­ing charges from Wash­ing­ton that US em­bassy staff in Havana fell ill with un­spec­i­fied symp­toms while work­ing in the coun­try, re­sult­ing in their de­par­ture from the Caribbean na­tion.

“We first heard of these in­ci­dents back in late 2016,” State Depart­ment spokesper­son Heather Nauert said. “Some US gov­ern­ment per­son­nel who were work­ing at our em­bassy in Havana, Cuba… re­ported some in­ci­dents which have caused a va­ri­ety of phys­i­cal symp­toms.”

Ac­cord­ing to Havana, the Cuban Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs was no­ti­fied by Wash­ing­ton on Fe­bru­ary 17, af­ter which the is­land’s gov­ern­ment re­sponded promptly and pro­fes­sion­ally, launch­ing a “thor­ough, pri­or­ity and ur­gent in­ves­ti­ga­tion by in­di­ca­tion of the high­est level of the Cuban gov­ern­ment” while propos­ing the estab­lish­ment of a co-op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism be­tween the two coun­tries.

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