USA Soften Warnings on Travels to Cuba

Prensa Latina News Agency

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Foreign visitors tour the historic area of Sancti Spiritus, in central Cuba. (Photo: A. del Valle / Escambray).

Washington has changed its travel alert system and now recommends American citizens “reconsider” visiting Cuba

The U.S. State Department has modified its travel system alert to Cuba to US citizens, at a time when its officials acknowledge the lack of evidence on the alleged sonic incidents that served as a pretext to stop the bilateral approach.

In this way, Washington now suggests its citizens to reconsider a possible trip to the Caribbean country, which means a decrease from level 4 alert that states ‘not to travel’ to level 3 that states ‘reconsider travel’ to the visitor.

‘As we were putting all this together, we did a very careful assessment. We talked to all of our experts, and this is where we came out on Cuba,’ Michelle Bernier-Toth, acting deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Citizen Services, said in a teleconference today.

According to the official, the new classification is not due to a change in the situation on the island, but the need to be consistent in classifying the risks in different countries.

On September 29, the State Department recommended that U.S citizens not travel to Cuba because, he said, ‘they could risk being victims of mysterious attacks such as those suffered by at least 24 diplomats and their relatives stationed in Havana,’ as the government of President Donald Trump has described-even without evidence-the Health incidents reported by diplomats in Havana.

The day before, during a hearing in the Committee of Foreign Relations of the Senate officials of the State Department acknowledged that they have no evidence that allows them to affirm neither that there were attacks against their diplomats in the Cuban capital, nor that the government could be responsible or have knowledge of third-party actions.

In that sense, the general director for the United States department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Josefina Vidal, rejected any action by which is intended to incriminate Cuba for the symptoms -migraine, dizziness, hearing loss and mild brain injuries- that part of the U.S. diplomatic corps alleged to suffer since November 2016?

Cuba is a safe, peaceful and healthy country for Cubans, for foreigners, for accredited diplomats and for the millions of people who visit us every year, including the U.S. citizens, she reaffirmed during a press conference.

On January 6, the official herself confirmed through her account on Twitter social network that during 2016 619,523 U.S. citizens visited the island.

The figure, as the general director indicated, represents a 217.4 percent growth over the previous year and despite the strengthening of the policies that support the blockade that Washington has maintained against Havana since 1962.

 

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