Washington, January 4. The United States is still investigating the health problems of its staff at the embassy in Cuba that led to the closure of its consular services on the island five years ago, which only resumed as of this Wednesday.
This was stated at a press conference by State Department spokesman Ned Price, who said the Havana giant had resumed processing visas to “support the Cuban people”.
In 2017, then-US President Donald Trump accused the Cuban government of being responsible for “acoustic attacks” on diplomatic workers on the island, which Cuba denied and Washington used as a pretext to shut down consular services.
“The investigation into what led to these incidents and how we can best protect our people is still an open investigation,” Price said Wednesday. He said the “top priority” for the US government is the health of its personnel.
The resumption of consular services after five years, the spokesperson continued, “is a sign that we are confident in our ability to reduce the risks faced by staff”, he said.
In addition, he argued that the processing of new visas is “a practical way to support the Cuban people” and an “approach” that the Joe Biden administration has maintained since the beginning.
A US diplomatic spokesman said the State Department expected to increase the staffing of its embassy in Havana to “expand the services” offered there.
Interviews began on December 29 for those seeking to obtain an immigrant visa for the North American country.
The resumption of operations comes after months of timid rapprochement between Washington and Havana, in which immigration has played a central role.
Furthermore, it coincided with the largest exodus of Cubans to the US in recent history. According to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), as of last November 30, 290,338 islanders arrived in the United States through the Mexican border.
In connection with the health problems of American personnel, in January last year the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) suggested that the described discomforts were the result of an operation directed by an enemy country, as was speculated.