The US embassy in Havana has operated under ordered departure status since September 29, 2017, due to health attacks affecting US embassy Havana employees.

The United States flag flies at the newly-opened embassy in Havana, Cuba. (File)

The US embassy will operate as an unaccompanied post, defined as a post at which no family members are permitted to reside.

The US State Department explained that the embassy will continue to operate with the minimum personnel necessary to perform core diplomatic and consular functions, similar to the level of emergency staffing maintained during ordered departure.

The State Department noted that the health, safety and well-being of US government personnel and family members are of the greatest concern for the USA and were “a key factor” in the decision to reduce the number of personnel assigned to Havana.

The investigation into the sonic attacks is ongoing, but there are no definitive answers at present as to the attacks.

The statement refers to the November 2016 US announcement, claiming that their diplomatic staff in Havana had begun to experience symptoms and were subsequently treated for hearing loss, dizziness, balance problems and insomnia, all of which occurred after their exposure to alleged acoustic attacks.

Responding to these claims, the Cuban Foreign Ministry has denied any Cuban involvement in the alleged attack. After this, Cuban Interior Ministry’s Lt. Col. Francisco Estrada Portales stated that the Cuban authorities had interviewed people living close to the US embassy and run necessary medical checks.

As a result of the Cuban probe, the authorities did not find any “acoustic” or other weapons, which could be potentially damaging to the health of the US diplomatic staff, even among those who resided very close to the building of the US diplomatic mission.

Despite Cuba’s interest to settle the crisis, the USA expelled two Cuban diplomats in what Havana described as “an unwarranted and unjustified decision.” This is a large political manipulation that does not contribute to the improvement of relations between Cuba and the USA,” the ambassador told a press conference in Moscow.

ABC / AA Magnum News 2018.

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