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Judi Lynn

(161,409 posts)
Sat Aug 25, 2018, 10:40 PM Aug 2018

If The US Thinks Cuba Is Too Dangerous For Diplomats, Why Did It Just Ease Its Travel Advisory For T

If The US Thinks Cuba Is Too Dangerous For Diplomats, Why Did It Just Ease Its Travel Advisory For The Island?
The State Department eased the level of its travel advisory to Cuba from “3” to “2,” putting it in the same category as France, Germany, and Spain.

Emily Tamkin
BuzzFeed News Reporter

Reporting From
Washington, DC

Posted on August 24, 2018, at 5:33 p.m. ET

The US State Department this week revised its advisory for travel to Cuba from Level 3 — reconsider travel — to Level 2 — exercise increased caution, raising a question: If the state of things in Cuba is good enough for Americans to travel there, why is it still bad enough to warrant a diplomatic rollback?

The change in the advisory, issued Thursday, is a partial reversal of last year’s warning to Americans not to travel to Cuba, and some involved in tourism hope it will reverse a decline in American visitors too — the Cuban Tourism Ministry’s commercial director, Michel Bernal, said in April that the number of US visitors in 2018 is only 56.6% of what it was in 2017.

But the change does nothing to bolster the US diplomatic presence in Cuba. President Donald Trump froze what had been warming relations under Barack Obama after diplomats were struck en masse by a still-unexplained illness initially blamed on “sonic attacks.” The US slashed its staff in Havana by around two-thirds, forbade US diplomatic families from moving there, and kicked 17 Cuban diplomats out of the United States. The president also banned US citizens from doing business with entities linked to the Cuban military and intelligence and security services.

But the allegation of “sonic attacks” was contentious, with many scientists scoffing at the idea. Earlier this month, 10 scientists published letters in the Journal of the American Medical Association criticizing the first medical review of the affected US diplomats in Cuba.

More:
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emilytamkin/the-us-is-no-longer-telling-americans-not-to-travel-to-cuba

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If The US Thinks Cuba Is Too Dangerous For Diplomats, Why Did It Just Ease Its Travel Advisory For T (Original Post) Judi Lynn Aug 2018 OP
CAN I TRAVEL TO CUBA? U.S. NO LONGER SAYS YOU SHOULD NOT GO, BUT THERE ARE STILL RESTRICTIONS Judi Lynn Aug 2018 #1
Targets versus non-targets. Igel Aug 2018 #2

Judi Lynn

(161,409 posts)
1. CAN I TRAVEL TO CUBA? U.S. NO LONGER SAYS YOU SHOULD NOT GO, BUT THERE ARE STILL RESTRICTIONS
Sat Aug 25, 2018, 10:43 PM
Aug 2018

CAN I TRAVEL TO CUBA? U.S. NO LONGER SAYS YOU SHOULD NOT GO, BUT THERE ARE STILL RESTRICTIONS
BY TOM O'CONNOR ON 8/24/18 AT 2:13 PM

The U.S. eased on Thursday a warning urging citizens against traveling to Cuba, where a decades-long embargo still restricts tourist traffic and where a series of mysterious symptoms afflicting Washington's diplomats set off fresh tensions late last year.

The State Department has altered its travel advisory for Cuba, no longer asking U.S. nationals to "reconsider travel" and, instead, telling them to "exercise caution" when heading to the Communist-run Caribbean island state. Despite lightening the language used in the new advisory, the government warned of potential dangers linked to "attacks targeting U.S. Embassy Havana employees resulting in the drawdown of embassy staff."

"Numerous U.S. Embassy Havana employees appear to have been targeted in specific attacks. We are unable to identify the source. Many of these employees have suffered injuries. Affected individuals have exhibited a range of physical symptoms including ear complaints and hearing loss, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, cognitive issues, visual problems, and difficulty sleeping," the statement added.

In August 2017, President Donald Trump's administration announced it was expelling two Cuban diplomats in retaliation for alleged attacks that afflicted some two dozen U.S. officials in Havana since February 2016. Similar reports later emerged with regard to U.S. diplomatic staff in China, allegedly causing brain injuries. Extensive efforts have been made in order to figure out the source of these reported attacks, with some experts suggesting it may be a case of mass hysteria and the FBI dismissing the possibility of the staff being targeted by sonic attacks.

More:
https://www.newsweek.com/can-i-travel-cuba-us-no-longer-says-you-should-not-go-still-restrictions-1090152?piano_t=1

Igel

(35,763 posts)
2. Targets versus non-targets.
Sun Aug 26, 2018, 09:33 AM
Aug 2018

Years ago African-Americans were warned not to travel to Russia. This, in Russian programs where overseas language study is fairly standard.

They issued no such warnings for white Americans, who were still encouraged to head to Petersburg or Moscow or Tula or wherever for study.

Blacks had been targeted by hoodlums at a disproportionate rate, the embassy can't help, the local police didn't seem to much care.

Americans in general might be targeted, but only for robberies, the assumption being that they had stuff to steal. Blacks weren't robbed, they were just beaten. At the time it was a racial/ethnic thing, not a political thing.

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