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Cuban ambassador condemns ‘terrorist attack’ on embassy

Embassy of Cuba in Washington, DC, USA, on Sept. 25, 2023. (Photo by AP)

Cuba’s ambassador to the United States has slammed a violent “terrorist attack” on the country’s embassy in Washington, DC, over the weekend.

In an interview with US media on Tuesday, Lianys Torres Rivera said that the Sunday night incident was part of a pattern of attacks directed at Cuban overseas missions over the course of the last ten years.

“We think that it’s a terrorist attack that according to that and according to the history of a terrorist attack, that for decades it has been done against Cuban diplomatic missions,” she said.

“We think that the origin, the roots, it’s in this case in this a policy of aggression and hatred against Cuba that for decades has been the one of the difference a US administration against our country,” she said, adding that the embassy staff will remain on alert as they continue they continue their diplomatic functions as normal.

However, she also stressed that maintaining Public security was up to the host country. “US as a host country … secure the embassy staff and the premises to avoid or to prevent ... attacks like this in the future.”

The incident remains under investigation by the Washington DC police, the Secret Service, and the State Department.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and American officials, including in the US State Department, have condemned the attack. Sullivan said, “Attacks against diplomatic facilities are unacceptable.”

"We are in contact with Cuban embassy officials and law enforcement authorities to ensure an appropriate and timely investigation as well as to offer our support for future protective efforts," he added.

Matthew Miller, State Department spokesman also said during a daily press briefing on Monday that "attacks and threats against diplomatic facilities are unacceptable."

Miller noted that the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service "works closely with law enforcement agencies to protect and maintain the security and safety of foreign missions in the United States."

"And we are doing that now with respect to this particular attack in coordination with the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department," Miller added.

Cuba's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, said the perpetrator in the violent attack had “launched 2 Molotov cocktails" at the Embassy building on Sunday night.

He said the Embassy staff "suffered no harm", adding that the incident’s "details are being worked out."

"This is the second violent attack against #Cuba's diplomatic mission," Parrilla wrote on X.

He said shots had been fired at the building from a rifle in 2020. That shooting left bullet holes in exterior walls and columns, broke a street lamp, and damaged several panes of glass and moldings on the front of the building.

US authorities arrested Alexander Alazo over the shooting, charging him with multiple offenses.

The Cuban Embassy reopened its embassy in 2015 when the countries restored diplomatic ties severed since 1961.

Re-opening the office came amid a reconciliation bid by former US President Barack Obama, who believed that decades of US efforts to isolate the island had been in vain.

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