U.S. officials slightly deescalate Cuba travel warning for Americans

State Department urges Americans to exercise increased caution in Cuba

By Hatzel Vela - Cuba Correspondent

HAVANA - The U.S. State Department changed the travel warning for Americans going to Cuba as part of an updated category-based system.

On Thursday, the State Department announced the warning was reduced from a Level 3, a category warning Americans to reconsider their trip, to a Level 2, which urges travelers to exercise increased caution when visiting the island.

President Donald Trump’s administration first issued the travel warning after the reported "sonic attacks" injured 26 State Department employees and their families. 

The Cuban government claims U.S. officials' initial warning was politically motivated. 

Collin Laverty, an American who runs an educational travel company in Cuba, said he considers Cuba one of the safest countries in the world. 

"Hundreds of thousands of Americans -- and millions of global travelers -- enjoy all that it has to offer each year with no health or security risks to note," Laverty wrote in a statement. 

In 2017, the State Department rated Cuba as a medium threat in a crime and safety report. The island was also rated low-threat on terrorism and on political, economic, religious and ethnic violence. 

The deescalation of the travel warning comes days after a congressional report said the U.S. ability to monitor Cuba, defend human rights, offer consular services and comply with bilateral agreements is being greatly affected by the drastic reduction of staff at the embassy in Havana.

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