U.S. diplomats will not be returning to Cuba anytime soon, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday morning, as a Senate Committee prepared to review the alleged attacks.
The FBI confirmed that there is no evidence of alleged 'sonic' attacks in Cuba targeting U.S. and some Canadian representatives which prompted Washington to recall a number of staff at their Havana embassy.
However, Tillerson remains adamant, defending the order to evacuate saying U.S. federal personnel, citizens and their families and saying he would not renounce the decision until the “deliberate attacks” were stopped.
“I’d be intentionally putting them back in harm’s way. Why in the world would I do that when I have no means whatsoever to protect them?” Tillerson told the Associated Press. “I will push back on anybody who wants to force me to do that.”
In August, reports emerged that up to 24 U.S. government employees at U.S. Embassy in Havana were afflicted by unexplained incidents that were later characterized as 'sonic attacks.' Though the State Department has never accused the Cuban government of perpetrating the alleged attacks, U.S. President Donald Trump has and other U.S. leaders have indicated that Cuban officials have information concerning the claims.
“I still believe that the Cuban government, someone within the Cuban government can bring this to an end,” Tillerson said.
Cuban officials, however have denied any knowledge of or involvement in the attacks. A symposium organized by the Cuban foreign ministry also suggested that the officials, whom AP reported were actually spies, suffered from stress.
The FBI on the other hand outlined various hypotheses that the attack was promulgated by high air pressure waves propelled by either audible sound, infrasound or ultrasound. No evidence has been found to support the supposed sophisticated attack.
The U.S. official said he had a plan of action to address the alleged attacks and will make it public during the congressional meeting held in Washington Tuesday. State Department officials will also deliver statements as well as medical proof of injuries to members of Congress at the Senate of Foreign Relations Committee.
Following a meeting with Cuban officials Friday, U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and supporter of U.S.-Cuban relations, denied Cuban involvement in the alleged attacks.
“There’s no evidence that somebody purposefully tried to harm somebody,” he said. “Nobody is saying that these people didn’t experience some event, but there’s no evidence that that was a deliberate attack by somebody, either the Cubans or anybody else.”