Now the experiment has been abruptly upended. But several U.S. lawmakers had said that that move by Washington didn't go far enough, because President Raul Castro's government was being permitted to keep all of its diplomats in the US.
Washington responded to those attacks last Friday by announcing it would withdraw almost two-thirds of its embassy staff from Havana. The U.S. gave Cuba a list of the personnel it wants out of the country, although they were not declared "persona non grata".
"The only thing I can do is wait", said Carlos Sierra, a 31-year-old restaurant worker in Havana.
USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson had earlier said that kicking out 15 Cuban diplomats would "ensure equity".
So to better identify patterns, investigators have created a map detailing specific areas of Cuba's capital where attacks have occurred, several individuals familiar with the matter said.
"At this time, the USA embassy in Havana should be downgraded to an interests section and we should be prepared to consider additional measures against the Castro regime if these attacks continue", he added.
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Routine visa operations were also suspended indefinitely, and short-term travel by US Government officials to Cuba will also be limited to those involved with the ongoing investigation or who have a need to travel related to the US national security or crucial embassy operations. These employees have suffered significant injuries as a outcome of these attacks.
With reports that 21 USA diplomatic personnel were targeted by sonic attacks in Cuba, in recent days, Rubio and other members of the Florida congressional delegation called on the State Department to strike back. But leaving Americans in harm's way presented a moral dilemma that, ultimately, the administration decided it could not stomach.
USA officials had previously refrained from calling it "attacks", instead using the vague language of "incidents". "There's clearly some entity out there that wants to damage relations between the two countries, and unfortunately, they've been successful".
"This is nothing more than a pretext for returning to the outdated policies of the Cold War against Cuba", he said.
Since first disclosing the situation in August, the United States had generally avoided the word "attacks".
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Cuba's Embassy in Washington did not respond to multiple requests for comment. "They should be taking steps to investigate", not walk away, he said.
The Associated Press, which the Los Angeles Times says is one of the few Western news outlets with offices in the Cuban capital, added an extra wrinkle to the story yesterday when it reported that USA intelligence officers working undercover were among the "first and most severely affected victims".
The expulsion of Cuban personnel from the Cuba Embassy in Washington will mean that travel will remain in limbo for the hundreds of thousands of Cuban-Americans flying to the island every year to visit relatives.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly protests and condemns this unfounded and unacceptable decision as well as the pretext used to justify it", Rodriguez said.
His argument: If Cuba is kept in the dark, how can it be expected to solve the crime? To date, the Trump administration largely described the victims as U.S. Embassy personnel or members of the diplomatic community, suggesting it was bona fide diplomats who were hit.
Last Sunday, Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida rejected the notion that Cuba was not aware of the sonic attack.
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