U.S. orders expulsion of Cubans
WASHINGTON - The State Department ordered Wednesday the expulsion
of three Cuban diplomats at the United Nations for spying activities.
It said two other Cubans who were alleged to have engaged in similar
activities left the country on their own several weeks ago.
State Department spokesman James P. Rubin said the Cuban mission was
informed that the three were being expelled ''for activities incompatible with
their diplomatic status'' - diplomatic code words for spying.
The three were said to have been linked to a case involving 10 people -
alleged to be Cuban agents - who were arrested in Miami in September.
The names of the three Cubans were withheld. Two were said to be
low-ranking diplomats and the third was described as mid-to-senior level.
U.N. spokesman Manuel de Almeida E Silva said the three must leave by 5
p.m. on Dec. 28.
''This action was taken as a result of evidence developed during an exhaustive
investigation by the FBI,'' Rubin said.
He added that the United States cannot accept violations of U.S. law and
''endangerment of our national security interests.''
The Cuban delegation to the U.N. was informed Monday night that the
United States tentatively planned to order the three to leave the country, said
an official, asking not to be identified.
The department gave the Cuban mission 24 hours to argue against expelling
the three but it received no response before the deadline, the official said.
Jose Borges, spokesman at the Cuban U.N. mission, declined comment.
The expulsion was the first by the United States of a Cuban diplomat since
Jose Luis Ponce, who was based on Washington, was ordered home in
Officials said about 10 Cuban diplomats have been expelled by the United
States since the early 1980's.
By The Associated Press