Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Tue May 13 10:57:37 MDT 2003

US Expels 14 Cuban Diplomats
Tue May 13, 2003 11:26 AM ET

HAVANA (Reuters) - The Bush administration is expelling 14
Cuban diplomats for engaging in "activities deemed harmful
to the United States," U.S. officials in Havana and the
United Nations said on Tuesday."There have been people
declared persona non grata: seven from the Cuban interest
section in Washington and seven from the Cuban interest
section in the United Nations," an American diplomat in
Havana said.

The seven in New York were requested to leave the United
States for engaging in "activities deemed harmful to the
United States outside their official capacity as members of
the permanent mission of Cuba to the United Nations," a U.S.
official said, reading a statement, using diplomatic
language that can refer to spying.

"These activities constitute an abuse of their privileges of
residence," he added.

There was no immediate response from the Cuban mission or
its ambassador, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla. The United States
did not release the names of those expelled.

Relations between the United States and Cuba, enemies since
Castro took power in a 1959 revolution, have been
increasingly strained during the Bush administration.

Last month Cuba sentenced 75 dissidents to long prison terms
for allegedly working with the United States and executed
three men for hijacking a ferry in a failed bid to reach the
United States. The arrests and executions brought protests
from governments, human rights organizations and others

Cuba last week rejected U.S. charges that the Caribbean
island sponsored terrorism, and accused the Bush
administration of obsessively trying to overthrow President
Fidel Castro's government.

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