Cuba blames Trump’s hostility for gunman’s embassy attack

A bullet hole is visible in the front door of the Cuban Embassy in Washington, Friday, May 1, 2020, after a man opened fire with an assault rifle on Thursday morning. Officers found the suspect with an assault rifle and took the person into custody without incident, police said. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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Cuba’s foreign minister on Tuesday accused the Trump administration of inspiring the gunman who attacked the Cuban Embassy in Washington last month.

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez also criticized Trump officials for remaining silent about the April 30 attack, which he called a sign of U.S. government “complicity.”

The U.S. Embassy in Havana said in a statement that U.S. officials are dedicated to protecting embassies, and it described the U.S. legal process as “transparent, with strict jurisprudence and much information about cases available to the public.”‘

An armed man identified as Alexander Alazo Baro, a 42-year-old Cuban immigrant to the U.S., fired 32 shots at the embassy April 30. He was charged with a violent attack on a foreign official or premises, willfully damaging property of a foreign government and firearms charges.

The attack damaged the building’s facade and at least one statue on the embassy grounds. Rodriguez on Tuesday played embassy security camera footage of the incident, showing Baro waving an American flag outside the compound’s fence and later shooting at the building with an AK-47 rifle.

The footage also showed the moment police arrived and wrestled Baro to the ground.

Alazo told investigators that he had been treated at a psychiatric hospital and that his wife, a nurse, had told him to seek treatment when he was hearing voices in his head. He was prescribed medication in March after a visit to a psychiatric facility but had not been “completely compliant with his medication,” court papers said.

Cuba has denounced the attack as a “terrorist” assault, and accused U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of encouraging violence against Cuba with hostile rhetoric towards the Cuban government.