US demands Cuba end 'targeted attacks' on envoys


Brussels (AFP)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson demanded Wednesday that Cuba halt mystery "targeted attacks" on US diplomats in Havana, dismissing complaints that Washington has provided little evidence about what happened.

Over the past year dozens of US and Canadian staff working at their embassies in Cuba have fallen sick with symptoms including brain trauma, that officials initially suggested may have been caused by an unidentified acoustic weapon.

US officials no longer use that term, and have not been drawn on what may have caused the injuries, leaving Cuba to allege it has been unfairly exposed to diplomatic sanctions and a travel warning that hurt tourism.

But Tillerson said that the United States has not wavered in its belief that its staff were deliberately targeted and insisted that Cuba has enough information to investigate and find the culprits.

"We are convinced these were targeted attacks," he told reporters after talks with the NATO allies in Brussels.

"We have shared some information with the Cubans," explaining that US officials only withheld private medical information and evidence that would have allowed to perpetrators to gauge the effectiveness of the attacks.

"What we've said to the Cubans is: 'Small island, you guys have a sophisticated security apparatus, you probably know who's doing it, you can stop it, it's as simple as that'," he continued.

"So that's what we've asked the Cubans. We understand the Cubans don't like the actions we've taken. We don't like our diplomats being targeted," he said.