US Pulls 60% of Staff From Cuba, Limits Travel

State Dept Demands Cuba Assure Safety of US Citizens

The US State Department has announced that they are cutting some 60% of their staff from the US Embassy in Cuba and suspending all diplomatic services in the country. They will also be severely curtailing travel to the island, restricting it to a few specific officials.

Officials are citing “health attacks” against Americans on the island, and demanding Cuba assure the safety of US citizens. This is being done despite the White House conceding that the Cuban government is not behind these attacks.

President Trump has been eager to roll back US relations with Cuba, which were reestablished in a limited fashion by President Obama after generations of acrimony. It appears the “attacks,” despite officials admitting they aren’t the Cuban government’s fault and despite apparently not having a good idea what they actually are, has become an after-the-fact excuse for continuing down that road.

Now, the only Americans legally allowed to travel to the island are those specifically involved in the investigation. Officials are citing “security concerns,” but in practice this is likely more about keeping control of the narrative on why US-Cuba relations are once again heading south.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.