Menendez on Decision to Recall Majority of U.S. Diplomats in Cuba

Menendez on Decision to Recall Majority of U.S. Diplomats in Cuba

San Juan, P.R. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in reaction to the White House’s decision to warn Americans against visiting Cuba and remove 60% of U.S. embassy staff after twenty-one American diplomats suffered severely from mysterious acoustic attacks while serving in Havana.

“Our nation’s foreign policy should always be grounded by the abiding belief in the power of our policies to move the world toward democracy, peace, and the preservation of human rights. But as I said when the opening of an American embassy in Havana was first announced, the United States should never find itself in a position where we have to compromise bedrock principles for minimal concessions, and that includes having to trust an authoritarian and deceitful regime when they say they are able to certify all American personnel are safe and fully protected.

“For months, the Castro government was fully aware of these concerning attacks on American and Canadian diplomats which started last year to the best of our knowledge. Despite their responsibilities and despite insisting otherwise, they refused to take the appropriate steps to fully investigate, cooperate, and ultimately stop these attacks on our diplomats.

"For Cuba to be considered a genuine part of the community of nations, it must first demonstrate changed behavior through verifiable actions like prioritizing the safety and security of diplomatic personnel, not empty rhetoric. Cuba remains as repressive today as ever and we cannot let their disregard for basic human security to directly impact Americans serving abroad. The United Sates government has a duty to be upfront, forthright, and energetic in defending our Foreign Service officers and their needs, and I, for one, commend this latest action by the Administration.”