Tensions between the United States and Cuba heated up following the United States giving Cuba a list of personnel being booted from the embassy in Washington, D.C.Tuesday morning. Cuban ambassador José Ramón Cabañas was notified that two-thirds of the Cuban embassy’s staff have to go.

The expulsion of 15 Diplomats resulted from Cuba’s “failure to take appropriate steps” in protecting U.S. diplomats posted to the U.S.-Cuban embassy,” according to Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, and the Miami Herald. Cuba has an obligation to protect U.S. personnel posted to the embassy in Havana, Tillerson said. The expulsion order “will ensure equity in our respective diplomatic operations,” the Herald noted.

The United States did not declare Cuban personnel persona non grata or unacceptable.

The United States not processing visas in Havana, inciting Cuban government

In addition to kicking Cuban embassy personnel out of Washington, D.C., the United States also halted processing visas in Havana. There is now uncertainty for thousands of Cuban-Americans who are separated from their families by the Florida Straits and who fly to the island annually to visit.

The New York Times reported that the Cuban government is none too pleased, calling the decision “hasty, inappropriate and unthinking.” Cuban officials also believe that the expulsion of its diplomats is politically motivated.

Ailing U.S. spies, spouses in U.S-Cuban embassy personnel reduction

The decision to expel the Cuban diplomats comes on the heels of the United States also announcing last week that personnel at the embassy in Cuba will be reduced, the Herald reported.

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American diplomats, namely spies and their spouses, started reporting physical symptoms from mysterious attacks in December 2016. Neither the U.S. nor Cuba knows the source of the attacks, though there has been speculation that the cause might be related to a sonic device, a virus, or a toxin, according to the New York Times.

The medical conditions afflicting primarily U.S. counterintelligence operatives range from headaches, hearing loss, vision problems, dizziness, and cognitive problems. Tillerson has characterized the medical conditions as health attacks. The sum of people now suffering from effects of a mystery attack now tallies at 22.

Secretary of State invokes Vienna Convention to boot Cuban diplomats, protecting Americans

Tillerson stated that the Vienna Convention obligates Cuba to protect American diplomats. With the health attacks, protection has not resulted. At 9:00 AM on Tuesday, Francisco Palmieri informed Cuba’s ambassador Jose Ramon Cabanas that the 15 diplomats expelled have seven days to depart from the U.S.

Palmieri is Acting Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

By Friday, the United States will have achieved its drawdown of personnel at the Cuban-American embassy in Havana. A skeletal staff of 27 people will remain at the U.S. embassy on the island.

Cuban government accuses U.S. of citing health an excuse for political decision

Tillerson said the U.S. would maintain its diplomatic relations with Cuba and “will continue to cooperate with Cuba” as both, the countries investigate the mystery source of the health attacks affecting U.S. government personnel, according to the Times. Regardless of Tillerson’s reassurances, Cuba’s foreign minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla asserted that President Trump’s administration is drawing on the health problems as an excuse, wanting to push out Cuba’s diplomats without proof that Havana is responsible for the health attacks. He called the decision to boot the diplomats out of Washington is “eminently political.”

Cuba faults the United States, calls diplomats’ health conditions ‘science fiction’

Rodriquez also stated that the U.S. government is at fault since the diplomats’ medical conditions were not reported to authorities in Cuba earlier. He said the Cuban officials had not been afforded access to the Americans who are suffering ill-effects or the treating physicians. He asserted that the denial of access had hindered Cuba’s capacity for assisting the U.S. in its investigation.

“Cuba,” Rodriguez emphasized, “has never perpetrated and will never perpetrate” attacks on diplomats or their families, according to the Times. He also stated that Cuba would also not permit the third party to attack U.S. personnel. At the same time, however, he discounted medical conditions that the U.S. has confirmed. Rodriguez deemed the health problemsscience fiction.”