WASHINGTON – The bipartisan Cuba Working Group in the U.S. House on Friday praised the federal government’s decision to withdraw all nonessential personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Havana.
The group, which includes Minnesota’s U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer, Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison, issued a statement following Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s meeting with Cuba Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrílla. They talked after 21 people at the embassy suffered from health problems believed to be caused by mysterious attacks, possibly from a sonic weapon. “The federal government has a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of our diplomats and Foreign Service personnel, regardless of where they serve,” the group wrote. “Those who are responsible for perpetuating these harmful and unacceptable acts will be held accountable.”
They added: “As the state department, law enforcement and intelligence communities continue their investigation, we are encouraged by the willingness of the Cuban government to serve as a partner in resolving this matter. A swift, apolitical resolution is in the best interest of both nations and we support continued cooperation and engagement until the source and motive of these attacks are determined.”
The State Department plans to issue a warning to Americans about traveling in Cuba, but the lawmakers discouraged any moves to end diplomatic ties or travel, or engage in retaliation, without identifying the parties who were responsible for the attacks.
The Cuba Working Group said it would continue to monitor the investigation.