The Cuban diplomats expelled from the United States this week included all those dealing with U.S. businesses, Cuba’s embassy in Washington told Reuters on Thursday, dealing another blow to bilateral commercial ties.
In an escalating crisis between the Cold War foes, the Trump administration on Tuesday expelled 15 diplomats to protest Communist-run Cuba’s failure to protect U.S. embassy staff in Havana from a mysterious spate of alleged health attacks.
“Due to this decision, the activities developed by the Economic and Trade Office of the Embassy of Cuba to the United States … will be seriously affected,” one Cuban diplomat said in a farewell message to a U.S. group that takes investors to the Caribbean’s largest island.
The Cuban embassy is often the first step in the process for U.S. companies to explore opportunities and make a pitch. Officials help them submit a trip proposal, seek out counterparts at state-owned enterprises in the centralized economy, and receive a business visa to travel to Havana. …