President Donald Trump said Monday that Cuba has a responsibility to prevent further covert attacks on the health United States diplomats at their mission in Havana.
The United States has not formally concluded Cuba carried out the attacks, some of which involved high-pitched sounds, but it has said Havana is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of USA diplomatic personnel and failed to do so.
His administration has previously said Cuba bears responsibility for keeping USA workers safe in the country, but has not explicitly blamed Cuba for the attacks. "I do believe Cuba is responsible, yes", Trump said in response to a reporter's question during a wide-ranging news conference in the Rose Garden.
Did you hear that sound?
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According to the U.S. State Department, the attacks have caused health problems in 22 American diplomats and intelligence personnel. It's obviously touchy territory, and the US government has been careful not to assign blame, but a presidential finger has pointed straight toward Cuba. Administration officials had said they did not know who was responsible and that Havana was cooperating in an investigation.
Last week, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said the Cuban government "could stop the attacks on our diplomats", but he declined to say whether Trump is considering fully shuttering the embassy.
The mysterious attacks, which USA officials initially suggested could have been carried out with some sort of covert acoustic device, have affected at least 22 U.S. embassy staff in Havana. The State Department has said that despite the lengthy investigation and FBI visits to the island, the US still can't identify either a culprit or a device.