Washington, D.C. – The bipartisan Cuba Working Group in the U.S. House of Representatives issued the following statement regarding Secretary Tillerson’s recent meeting with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla and the decision to withdraw all non-essential personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Havana:
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the 21 brave Americans who join the ranks of those who have sacrificed their own health and welfare in service to our country. Their safety and well-being are paramount.
“The federal government has a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of our diplomats and Foreign Service personnel, regardless of where they serve. Those who are responsible for perpetuating these harmful and unacceptable acts will be held accountable.
“As the State Department, law enforcement and intelligence communities continue their investigation, we are encouraged by the willingness of the Cuban Government to serve as a partner in resolving this matter. A swift, apolitical resolution is in the best interests of both nations and we support continued cooperation and engagement until the source and motive of these attacks are determined. Calls to sever all diplomatic ties or travel, or encourage retaliatory efforts without identifying the responsible parties are misguided and do nothing to ensure the safety and security of our diplomatic personnel and their families moving forward.
“Situations like these require responsible diplomacy from both nations. We appreciate the hard work and professionalism of all of the men and women involved in determining the cause of these attacks. The entire Cuba Working Group will continue to monitor this investigation and stands ready to assist the Administration in developing a targeted and appropriate response for the perpetrators of these attacks, once the investigation is complete.”
The Cuba Working Group is a bipartisan coalition in Congress comprised of members focused on improving the future of U.S. foreign policy during a time in which the U.S.-Cuba relationship is rapidly being reshaped. Members include Representatives Tom Emmer (R-MN), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Rick Crawford (R-AR), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Mark Sanford (R-NC), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ted Poe (R-TX), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Ralph Abraham (R-LA), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Justin Amash (R-MI), Don Beyer (D-VA), James Comer (R-KY), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Clay Higgins (R-LA).