The Associated Press
November 8, 2002

Cuba Denies Charges About Diplomats

 Associated Press Writer

 HAVANA (AP) Cuba rejected U.S. charges that four Cuban diplomats who were ordered to leave the United States engaged in
 unacceptable activities, and said American diplomats in Havana were involved in "subversive'' work.

 The Foreign Ministry statement set the stage for the possible retaliatory expulsion of American diplomats from Havana. ``Cuba has
 the right to respond, and will, at the appropriate moment,'' it said.

 The United States government ``doesn't have the least bit of moral authority, nor any justification to propose these assertions
 against our diplomats,'' the statement said.

 It warned that ``we can present broad evidence of the activities of constant espionage and subversion against Cuba.''

 On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department ordered the expulsion of two Washington-based Cuban diplomats for their role in support of
 a spy for Cuba who recently was sentenced to a 25-year prison term.

 Oscar Redondo Toledo and Gustavo Machin Gomez were given 10 days to leave the country.

 The order came shortly before two members of Cuba's mission to the United Nations were asked to leave the United States for
 ``engaging in activities deemed to be harmful to the United States'' believed to be spying.

 They were later identified as Francisco Gonzalez Garcia, a counselor, and Carlos Augusto Suanes Flexas, a second secretary.

 Havana blamed the action against its diplomats on Cuban-born U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Otto Reich. It said Reich was
 obsessed with trying to halt ``the unstoppable advance of forces in the United States against the policy of aggressions and attacks
 against Cuba.''