Cuba to make it easier for Cuban Americans to visit

WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Cuba will make it easier for its U.S.-based citizens to travel to the island, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on Saturday, in a gesture to win support from Cuban Americans during a diplomatic crisis over allegations of mysterious health attacks.

"The U.S. government closes, and Cuba opens," Rodriguez told a meeting of pro-Havana Cuban Americans in Washington.

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He said Cuban citizens in the United States would no longer need to have a special review of their Cuban passports to rehabilitate them before traveling to the island.

Rodriguez said that procedure had become more difficult due to staff shortages at the Cuban embassy after the U.S. government expelled 15 Cuban diplomats this month due to the dispute over the mystery attacks on U.S. personnel in Cuba.

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People walk past the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
A tour bus of Transgaviota drives past the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba June 13, 2017. Picture taken June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer
An exterior view of the U.S. Embassy is seen in Havana, Cuba, June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
People wait in line to enter the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, April 20, 2017. Picture taken April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
People wait to enter the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, April 20, 2017. Picture taken April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
A vintage car passes by in front of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Cuban flags fly near U.S flag beside the U.S embassy in Havana December 31, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique de la Osa
A man lowers the Cuban flag while standing amidst flagposts installed outside the U.S. embassy in Havana, December 18, 2015. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Flagposts installed outside the U.S. embassy cast their shadows on the sidewalk of the seafront Malecon in Havana, December 18, 2015. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Tourists pass by the U.S. Embassy in Havana, February 18, 2016. Picture taken February 18, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Competitors run past the U.S. embassy during the Marabana marathon in Havana, November 15, 2015. In the year since detente, more Americans are visiting Cuba, and more Cubans are trying to reach the U.S., concerned that special treatment for Cubans may end. While foreigners are in a frenzy, most Cubans report little change. Although they have guaranteed education and healthcare and minimal fear of violent crime, their wages are poor and economic opportunities limited. Picture taken November 15, 2015. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
The Cuban flag flies at half staff in recognition of the death of Fidel Castro, the long time leader of Cuba, at the Cuban Embassy in Washington, U.S., November 28, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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"It's unacceptable and immoral, from the point of view of the Cuban government, for people to be harmed by a difference between governments," he said.

While the United States has not formally accused Cuba of carrying out what it says are attacks that have caused hearing loss and cognitive issues in its diplomats, President Donald Trump said last week Havana was responsible.

Cuban government officials accused Trump this week of slandering their country.

Tension over the alleged attacks, some of which involved high-pitched sounds, came after Trump said in June he wanted to partially roll back the historic detente between the United States and Cuba, ordering tighter restrictions on travel and trade. These have yet to be unveiled

Rodriguez said Cuba was making it easier for the children of Cubans in the United States to attain Cuban nationality and allowing Cuban Americans to travel to the country on cruise ships that embark at two ports on Cuba.

Havana will also allow some Cubans who left the country illegally to return, he said.

There are roughly two million Cubans or Americans of Cuban origin in the United States.

See more from Cuba: 

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Cubans clamor for more internet access
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Cubans clamor for more internet access
Tourist guide Daniel Hernandez, 26, sits on his Russian-made car as he speaks to his girlfriend who lives in Britain, at an internet hotspot in Havana, Cuba, September 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini SEARCH "MENEGHINI INTERNET" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Claudia Espinosa, 20 (R), and her mother Maribel Sosa, speak to relatives living in the United States at an internet hotspot in Havana, Cuba, September 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini SEARCH "MENEGHINI INTERNET" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A man connects to an internet hotspot at the sea front at the Malecon in Havana, Cuba, August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini SEARCH "MENEGHINI INTERNET" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana, Cuba, January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini SEARCH "MENEGHINI INTERNET" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana, Cuba, September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini SEARCH "MENEGHINI INTERNET" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Ciego de Avila, Cuba, May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini SEARCH "MENEGHINI INTERNET" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana, Cuba, January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini SEARCH "MENEGHINI INTERNET" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana, Cuba, January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini SEARCH "MENEGHINI INTERNET" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
People connect to the internet at a hotspot in Havana, Cuba, January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini SEARCH "MENEGHINI INTERNET" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Taxi driver Rene Almeida speaks to relatives living in the United States on a video call inside his cab at an internet hotspot in Havana, Cuba, September 24, 2017. The dome light is on to provide better lighting for the video call. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini SEARCH "MENEGHINI INTERNET" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Men use mobile phones to connect to the internet from inside a car at a hotspot in downtown Havana, Cuba, December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
A woman (C) uses the internet with her mobile phone at a hotspot in Havana, Cuba, September 12, 2016. Picture taken September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
Lismai Aguilar (C), 18, uses a mobile phone to connect to the internet at a hotspot in downtown Havana, Cuba, December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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