WASHINGTON – In response to the U.S. Department of State’s announcement that it would order the departure of 15 officials from the Cuban Embassy in Washington, DC, Emily Mendrala, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, released the following statement:
“The U.S. State Department’s announced expulsion of Cuban diplomats from Washington, DC amidst an ongoing investigation is regrettable. The decision is shortsighted and will harm U.S. interests. Understaffed embassies in both capitals will undermine engagement on issues of mutual concern and complicate visa processing, serving only to divide Cuban families.
“We hold as a top priority the well-being of our diplomats, and urge the U.S. and Cuban governments to continue to cooperate in a swift investigation into the mysterious incidents that have inflicted harm upon them.
“CDA remains committed to fostering engagement and dialogue between the U.S. and Cuba. We acknowledge that the U.S. pledges to maintain diplomatic relations and to continue to cooperate with Cuba on the ongoing investigation into the attacks that affected U.S. diplomats in Havana.”
CDA Press Office (202) 234-5506 ext. 2001
The Center for Democracy in the Americas, founded in 2006, has led more than 60 trips to Cuba for bipartisan delegations of Members of the U.S. Congress, trade missions for the governors of New York and Virginia, CEOs and trade associations, and leaders in philanthropy, women’s issues, and the arts, including the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. More information about CDA is available on our website.