Trump administration might shut down U.S. embassy in Havana



The Trump administration is thinking about shutting down the recently reopened U.S. embassy in Havana, a move that would further cool the long-awaited Cuban thaw, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday.


“We have it under evaluation,” Tillerson told CBS News’ “Face The Nation.”


The sudden review comes after more than 20 U.S. government employees at the embassy have suffered mysterious health problems, which American officials have blamed on a potential secret sonic device in the building.


“It’s a very serious issue with respect to the harm that certain individuals have suffered,” Tillerson said.


“We’ve brought some of those people home. It’s under review.”

AFP PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2016

Former President Barack Obama with Cuban President Raul Castro.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)


Between autumn 2016 and April, at least 21 embassy employees were treated for nausea, concussions and hearing loss, the U.S. State Department revealed last month. Some victims reported hearing loud and mysterious vibrations and hinted at a possible “sonic attack.”


No secret device has been found and the cause of the illnesses has not been determined. Cuba has denied any responsibility for the ailments and has said it will work with the U.S. to find answers. Its government had no immediate response to Tillerson’s comments.


After remaining shuttered for nearly five decades, the Havana embassy reopened in 2015 as part of former President Barack Obama’s warming of Cuban relations.


But President Trump has said he intends to cancel Obama’s new policies with the communist country as punishment for Cuba failing to improve its human rights records in the past two years.

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