HAVANA, 23 Dec. The Office of Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) announced Friday that it will “temporarily” suspend operations at its embassy in Cuba, due to the reduction of personnel, and it will be the office of the agency in Mexico that will assume its functions.
“Due to the reduction of personnel in the United States Embassy in Havana, the Office of Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) of this country will temporarily suspend, but with immediate effect, operations at its headquarters in the Cuban capital.” indicated the agency on its website.
“During this time, the office in Mexico City will assume the jurisdiction of Havana, which includes only Cuba,” he said.
Specifically, USCIS indicated that it continues to work with the State Department “to ensure that the Family Reunification Program continues to function.”
In the event that it is, he added, a “permanent resident in the United States who has lost his travel documents or re-entry permit to the country, and needs documentation to return, he must submit an application in any US consular section outside Cuba” .
The United States has reduced its staff to a minimum at its embassy in Havana, which has led to the suspension of visa issuance and the restriction of its consular services to emergency procedures, in response to alleged sonic “attacks” suffered by more than one twenty of its officials in Cuba, registered between the end of 2016 and last August and whose cause is unknown.
In addition to withdrawing a large part of its staff in Havana in October, the State Department ordered the expulsion of 15 officials from the Cuban embassy in Washington, a step that has increased tensions with the Cuban government, which denies any relationship with the incidents
For his part, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez denounced the impact that these measures would have “on the issues of family reunification and granting of visas,” by “abruptly and almost completely cutting off consular services in Havana and Washington.”
The US government has not blamed, for now, the Cuban for the attacks that have caused physical symptoms to several of his diplomats on the island, but he does accuse Havana of not having complied with its obligation to guarantee the safety of US officials. in its territory.
This week, Cuban President Raúl Castro lamented the retreat in relations with the United States after Donald Trump’s arrival at the White House, a turn he described as “serious” and attributed to the “artificial fabrication of irrational pretexts” .
“In 2017 we have witnessed a serious and irrational setback in Cuba-US relations, of which our country is not responsible,” said Castro, who again denied that Cuba had participated in the supposed “acoustic attacks” suffered by diplomats. Americans on the island.