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Cuba calls US expulsion of 2 diplomats 'unjustified'

Friday - September 20, 2019 9:04 am , Category : WORLD
Havana, Sep 20 (IANS) The Cuban government has slammed the US expulsion of two Cuban diplomats in the UN and termed the move as "unjustified".
 
Earlier on Thursday, the US State Department ordered the imminent departure of the two diplomats who are members of Cuba's Permanent Mission to the UN, accusing them of having "attempts to conduct influence operations against the US", reports Xinhua news agency
 
It said the expulsion was due to "abusing their privileges of residence" in a statement without providing further details.
 
The State Department demanded travels of the members of Cuba's UN mission should "essentially be restricted to the island of Manhattan" in New York City, where the UN is headquartered.
 
Taking to Twitter later Thursday, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said: "I reject categorically the unjustified expulsion of two officials of the Cuban Permanent Mission at the UN and the tightening of the restrictions of movement for the Cuban diplomats and its families."
 
He also criticized the US allegation against the Cuban diplomats as a "vulgar slander" and the newly announced restrictions as aiming to provoke an escalation of bilateral diplomatic tensions.
 
The development came as Cuba was seeking an end to a 57-year-old US economic blockade and trade embargoes against it at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly that opened on Tuesday.
 
In a 2018 report to the UN, Cuba said it has incurred losses worth over $933 billion as a result of the American sanctions.
 
On Monday, Rodriguez said that the sanctions on oil shipments were causing a fuel shortage on the Caribbean island, which creates difficulties "affecting every Cuban family".
 

--IANS ksk