Washington, DC — Today, Director of Programs Geoff Thale at the Washington Office of Latin America (WOLA), an advocacy group that advances human rights causes in the Americas, issued the following statement in response to recent reports that the U.S. State Department will soon expel 60 percent of the Cuban Embassy staff in the United States, following last week’s withdrawal of non-essential personnel and diplomat family members from the U.S. Embassy in Havana.
“The U.S. government voluntarily withdrew many of its diplomatic personnel from Cuba out of concerns for their safety,” said WOLA Director of Programs Geoff Thale. “Now we are expelling an equal number of Cuban diplomats without reason. There’s no logic to this. The United States is using the confusion and uncertainty surrounding these events as justification to take a big step backwards in U.S.-Cuban relations. This doesn’t serve our national interests, or our diplomacy, and it most certainly doesn’t do anything to help advance human rights or a more open political climate in Cuba. This is an unfortunate decision that ought to be reversed.”