14ymedio, Havana, March 17, 2020 — On Monday, the U.S. Embassy suspended “routine” services for North American citizens owing to the health emergency posed by the coronavirus, according to a diplomatic communication.
“As a result, the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Havana will offer only emergency services for U.S. citizens and non-migrant visa services,” it added.
Applicants who already have appointments will be notified by email when routine services resume, the Embassy indicated.
Cuba now has five confirmed cases — one in a critical state — of the illness caused by Covid-19.
The U.S. had already suspended consular services for immigrant and tourist visas some years ago because of mysterious attacks that required the evacuation of a large part of its Embassy staff in Havana.
Relations between the U.S. and Cuba have cooled since ex-President Barack Obama reestablished diplomatic ties between both countries and traveled to Havana to promote what was known as the “thaw”.
The policy of rapprochement, harshly criticized in South Florida where most of the exiled Cubans live, gave way to an escalation of confrontation after President Donald Trump took office. He blames Cuba for the authoritarian drift of Nicolás Maduro’s regime. Most of Cuba’s economic support comes from Venezuela.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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