Cuba summoned the top US diplomat on the island Tuesday to protest extra screening for Cuban citizens flying into the United States, calling the rule a "hostile action" meant to justify America's trade embargo.
The new dispute comes after several setbacks that have all but snuffed out hope for a quick resolution to the half-century of antagonism between Cuba and the United States, and as Cuban officials have been increasingly sharp-spoken about their disappointment in President Barack Obama.
Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, director of the Cuban Foreign Ministry's North American affairs office, said the new security controls were "discriminatory and selective."
"We categorically reject this new hostile action by the government of the United States against Cuba," she told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview.
Vidal Ferreiro said she lodged the protest in an afternoon meeting with Jonathan Farrar, the head of the US Interest Section, which Washington maintains in Cuba instead of an embassy. Cuba's top diplomat in Washington delivered a similar message to State Department officials earlier in the day, she said.