Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez summoned the highest US diplomatic authority on Thursday. in Havana, the charge d’affaires Mara Tekach, to protest the shooting that occurred hours earlier against the Cuban Embassy in Washington.
The Foreign Minister explained in a televised intervention that during the meeting he transmitted to Tekach his “most vigorous protest” about the event that occurred this morning and publicly demanded that the US government conduct a “thorough and rapid investigation.
Rodríguez said the action, allegedly perpetrated by a 42-year-old Texas resident who is already in custody, “has been encouraged by growing hostile rhetoric” towards Cuba by the Administration of President Donald Trump.
In his speech, the Cuban foreign minister pointed out as exponents of this hostile rhetoric the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo; “high officials” of that department and “the US Embassy in Havana itself.”
In addition, it deplored that, twelve hours after the shooting occurred, the authorities of the US Government. they have not contacted the Cubans to address the event.
The incident occurred in the early hours of today, when a man later identified as Alexander Alazo, a 42-year-old citizen of the town of Aubrey (Texas), allegedly shot an assault rifle at the Cuban embassy in Washington.
At the moment, the police authorities in Washington have not released more information about the circumstances surrounding the event or about its alleged perpetrator.
The attack did not cause damage to the island mission personnel, but it did leave bullet wounds on the building’s facade, reopened as an embassy in July 2015 after more than half a century without diplomatic relations.
The Cuban Foreign Minister revealed that at the time of the attack there were ten officials within the diplomatic representation.
Rodríguez also reminded the US Administration of its obligation to protect foreign diplomatic personnel.
Cuba and the United States are currently experiencing one of the most tense stages in their complicated relationship, after the detente led by former presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro between 2014 and 2016, a stage known as the “thaw”, which led to the reopening of embassies.
The arrival of President Donald Trump at the White House, however, caused a shift in US policy towards the island.
In the past two years, the U.S. It has tightened the embargo that it maintains since 1962 and has increased pressure on Havana with new sanctions due to the supposed support of the Cuban government to President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.
The United States Government decided to close its Consulate on the island and ordered the departure of most of its embassy staff after the mysterious health incidents that affected around twenty of its diplomats, for reasons still unexplained.
Today the US mission In Cuba, it works at the level of charge d’affaires because the Congress of that country has not yet designated an ambassador. Cuba does maintain an ambassador in Washington.
USA It has also expelled Cuban diplomats from its territory and has issued travel alerts to Cuba for alleged dangerousness, in addition to prohibiting the docking of US vessels on Cuban coasts and limiting flights from that country only to the Havana airport.