The U.S. State Department announced Friday it was withdrawing more than half its embassy staff from Cuba following “specific attacks” that sickened at least 21 U.S. embassy employees. On some level it was only the latest blow to Obama’s historic rapprochement with Cuba; on another, though, it was a diplomatic break that never happened. Just last week, Rex Tillerson, the U.S. secretary of state, said the U.S. was reviewing closing the entire embassy. As it is, U.S.-Cuba relations remain largely intact.
That the response wasn’t more severe is partly a reflection of the mystery at the core of the attacks: No one yet knows who is responsible. Cuban government officials have denied having anything to do with them, and appeared mystified