Press Release

October 3, 2017
Cardin Questions Expulsion of Cuban Diplomats amidst Attacks on U.S. Personnel in Havana

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Tuesday after the Trump Administration announced it was expelling Cuban diplomats from the U.S. in the wake of attacks on American personnel in Havana:

“The safety and security of U.S. diplomats and all American personnel overseas will always remain my top priority and the foremost priority of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. These targeted attacks against U.S. personnel in Cuba are unacceptable and, in some cases, have caused lasting harm to the individuals affected. The United States must be unrelenting in its efforts to protect our diplomats, investigate these disturbing incidents, and seek accountability for those responsible.

“Although today’s decision to expel Cuban diplomats brings parity between U.S. and Cuban embassy personnel levels, I am concerned that it may also stoke diplomatic tensions and complicate our ability to conduct a thorough investigation of these attacks. The U.S. should not take actions that could undermine our bilateral relations with Cuba and U.S. policies aimed at advancing our strategic national interests in the hemisphere.

“In this time of uncertainty, the Administration and the State Department must consult with Congress before taking further actions. Tomorrow’s briefing for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee must provide members with a clear understanding of these ongoing attacks.”