" --IANS"
Havana, March 6 - Washington's unilateral decision to withdraw its embassy staff from Havana is politically motivated that will affect thousands of people in both Cuba and the US, according to a diplomat.

Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, director general for US affairs at Cuba's Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the move by the US State Department to permanently pull its personnel from the island had nothing to do with their safety, reports Xinhua news agency.

It's another political fabrication that is part of Washington's long history of hostility against the people of Cuba, he said.

Over 20 US diplomats and their family members said they have suffered hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, headaches and fatigue. The incidents were first reported in November 2016.

Washington's decision will have an impact on consular services as Cubans will have to travel to third countries to obtain visas to the US, Fernandez said.

The US has imposed a financial punishment on thousands of families as well as agony and insecurity. Washington is responsible for the humanitarian cost of this move, he said.

The Cuban official rejected the State Department's reference to the health issues as attacks, saying Cuba ensures diplomats' safety.

Neither the State Department nor American agencies and scientists have confirmed any evidence of such attacks, he said.

Fernandez also condemned Washington's decision to issue a travel advisory, warning US citizens of security risks if they visit Cuba.

The US has not formally accused Cuba of carrying out the attacks, but Trump said in October that he believed Havana was responsible.

--IANS

ksk/vm


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