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Posted January 15, 2004 by publisher in US Embargo

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Cuba Defends Diplomat Expelled From U.S.

HAVANA (AP) - Cuba’s top diplomat for North America on Thursday defended a diplomat recently expelled from the United States and rejected U.S. officials’ accusations that he had associated with criminal elements.

The expulsion of Roberto Socorro Garcia, a third secretary at the Cuban mission in Washington, was carried out last month without announcement.
U.S. officials said last week that Socorro was expelled for associating with criminal elements but didn’t elaborate further. But one news report said he had been linked to drug trafficking.

“The Foreign Ministry totally rejects and categorically denies that comrade Roberto Socorro Garcia has associated with people or activities related to drug trafficking in the United States,’’ Rafael Dausa Cespedes, the ministry’s director for North America, said in a statement published in the Communist Party newspaper Granma and other Cuban media.

Dausa further denied that Soccoro had “undertaken activities that were damaging to the American government or that violated his diplomat status.’’

Dausa mentioned no retaliatory measures, and U.S. officials cited in the earlier reports on the expulsion at the time said no such measures had been announced.

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