Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said on Friday it was “an insult” that President Donald Trump’s government is withdrawing more than half of Havana’s diplomats without ordering Cuban diplomats to leave the United States.
The United States ordered most of the US diplomatic personnel to leave the island amid a series of unexplained “attacks” on their health that have left 21 Americans affected.
Florida lawmaker, an outspoken critic of the Cuban government, told The Associated Press that the measures the Trump government has taken so far are not a good start.
Rubio says that if the United States can not guarantee the safety of its diplomats, it must bring them all out.
The senator added that it makes no sense that the United States has been forced to withdraw its personnel while Cuba can maintain its entire diplomatic roll in the United States. He added that the Cuban envoys travel freely through the United States spreading “propaganda” and “misinformation”.
Another Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Jim McCovern, said the measure is the latest example of a White House “with incredible ignorance of how best to conduct foreign policy.”
According to McGovern, keeping US diplomats safe is always the top priority in the United States. He said he supports the capture and punishment of whoever is responsible for several mysterious “sonic” attacks that have caused hearing loss and speech problems for US diplomats.
However, McGovern said that the withdrawal of staff will make it difficult to travel back and forth to Cuban and American families. He also warned of a return to “the failed Cold War isolationist policies that divided families for 50 years.”
Although Washington has not directly blamed Cuban authorities for the incidents, Tillerson told Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Tuesday that his government has a responsibility to protect diplomats and their families.
The Cuban Foreign Ministry considered the decision to cut the embassy personnel “hasty”.
US Foreign Minister Josefina Vidal reiterated that the Havana government has no responsibility for these events and that the decision “will affect bilateral relations, particularly on issues of mutual interest.”