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Government Violated Law in Mysterious Cuba Injuries Case, Rubio Says

Failed to set up review board in time

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Marco Rubio has accused the government of violating the law by not setting up a review after apparent sonic attacks caused mysterious injuries to personnel based at the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba.

“The bottom line is: the State Department did not follow the law in setting [up an accountability review board] in the 120 day period, in my opinion,” Rubio said. “We first heard of the complaints in late 2016.”

Rubio said it was clear by May that serious injuries had taken place.

The Florida Republican was told by the State Department at a hearing Tuesday morning that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has now decided to set up such a review board. The statement was made by Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Francisco Palmieri in response to questioning from Rubio.

“The secretary has made a decision to convene an accountability review board. There will be a congressional notification sent shortly,” Palmieri said. “Throughout this process, we’ve not been able to identify who the perpetrator of such attack was and what the means of that attack was. It was only until late August when there was another round of attacks that it became apparent to us that we should begin the process of looking at an accountability review board.”

“Well, that’s not what the law reads,” Rubio said. “It says in any case of serious injury, loss of life, etc. etc., related to a United States government mission abroad. It does not say that you need to know who did it.”

Rubio is chairman of the Foreign Relations subcommittee with jurisdiction regarding the State Department’s operations in the Western Hemisphere.

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