This morning, January 9, a hearing was held in the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, organized by Republican Senator for Florida Marco Rubio and co-chaired by New Jersey Democrat Senator Robert Menendez, both with a vast record of work against better relations between Cuba and the United States, and the promoters of all kinds of legislative and political proposals that affect the interests of the Cuban and American peoples, and only benefit an increasingly isolated minority that has historically profited from attacks on Cuba.
From its very title “Attacks on U.S. Diplomats in Cuba,” it was evident that the true purpose of this hearing, to which three high-ranking officials of the State Department were summoned, was not to establish the truth, but to impose by force and without any evidence an accusation that they have not been able to prove.
No one is surprised by the unfounded accusations or the fabrications of these anti-Cuban senators, whose only political agenda over the years has been to bring our countries to confrontation, regardless of the consequences. Their total lack of scruples and credibility is renowned. The great victim of today’s hearing has been the truth.
For the Cuban government, the irresponsible statements made at the hearing by the Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the Department of State, Francisco Palmieri, are unacceptable.
The Director of the Bureau of Medical Services at the State Department, Dr. Charles Rosenfarb, said there are a multitude of symptoms that are not attributable to a specific cause and that there is a lack of certainty about the causal agent. The Assistant Director for International Programs of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Todd Brown, said experts have not been able to identify the cause or perpetrator. And Mr. Palmieri repeatedly used the term attacks. It became clear that this is an unfounded accusation against Cuba.
The State Department does not have any evidence that allows it to affirm that there have been attacks against its diplomats in Havana, or that Cuba may be responsible, or have knowledge of the actions of third parties.
On the contrary, months of exhaustive investigations have demonstrated that there have been no attacks.
I categorically reiterate that the Cuban government has no responsibility whatsoever for the health conditions reported by U.S. diplomats. Cuba never has, and never will, perpetrate such acts, nor has it or will it permit third parties to act against the physical integrity of any diplomat, without exception. The Cuban government is aware of its responsibilities and fulfils them exemplarily.
Once again I affirm that the investigation carried out by Cuban authorities, the results of which the State Department and specialized agencies of the United States have had ample and systematic access to, has shown that there is no evidence at all regarding the occurrence of the alleged incidents and no attack of any kind has occurred.
Nothing presented by the government of the United States throughout this period, including today, provides evidence that the health problems reported by its diplomats have their origin or cause in Cuba.
We reject the politicization of this matter and the unjustified measures adopted by the United States government, with a high cost for our population, Cuban émigrés and the U.S. people.
We also condemn the political manipulation of these events by anti-Cuban elements, who seek to aggravate the bilateral atmosphere, with the sole purpose of returning to a an era of confrontation, with negative consequences for both countries and the region.
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 U.S.