Cuba: Canadian diplomat struck by headaches and hearing loss

A guard stands at the entrance of the newly opened Cuban embassy in Washington D.C. in 2015
A guard stands at the entrance of the newly opened Cuban embassy in Washington D.C. in 2015. Andrew Harnik AP via Miami Herald
Author

11 August, 2017

Two Cuban diplomats were kicked out of the Washington embassy by the State Department after a number of mysterious incidents forced US officials in Cuba to return home with "a variety of physical symptoms", State Department officials said Wednesday.

The FBI and the Diplomatic Security Service have initiated an investigation related to the incident and the American government has already suspended the activity of two Cuban diplomats from the Washington Embassy on May 23rd.

"We don't have any definitive answers about the source or the cause", of symptoms she characterized as not life-threatening.

After months of investigation, USA officials concluded that the diplomats had been attacked with an advanced sonic weapon that operated outside the range of audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residence, the Associated Press reported.

The report comes a day after the United States expelled two Cuban diplomats after a number of U.S. embassy staff were forced to leave Havana because of unspecified medical symptoms that were first reported in 2016.

A small number of Americans began reporting symptoms at the end of 2016, and a few either were removed for medical treatment in the United States or asked to leave, State Department officials said Thursday.

After months of investigation, U.S. officials concluded that the diplomats had been attacked with an advanced sonic weapon that operated outside the range of audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residences.

The ministry said it had created an expert committee to analyze the incidents and had reinforced security around the USA embassy and US diplomatic residences.

Reports suggest USA diplomats could have suffered hearing loss related to the use of covert sonic devices. The U.S. embassy in Havana only reopened in 2015 as part of former President Obama's d├ętente with its Caribbean neighbor.

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The matter had also resulted in the USA expulsion of two Cuban diplomats from Washington in late May.

Cuban officials have pledged to investigate the incidents as well and take appropriate action, reported the AP.

"We don't know exactly what...what this requires is providing medical examinations to these people", Nauert said. She did not go into details but did say Cuba has been reminded of its obligation under the Geneva Convention to protect foreign diplomats.

Investigators are exploring the possibility that another country, such as Russian Federation, carried out the attack without the Cuban government's knowledge. "We're taking this incident very seriously, and it's under investigation right now".

Earlier in the day, the U.S. Department of State made a vague statement insinuating foul play by the government of Cuba.

President Trump announced a couple of months ago he was rolling back numerous advances with Cuba that Obama had overseen. On May 23rd, two Cuban diplomats were asked to leave the U.S. in an apparent response to American diplomats being forced to come home for medical reasons.

In the era of fake news, reports of attacks against U.S. diplomats living in the country in which U.S. President Donald Trump wants to, "expose the crimes of the Castro regime", brings up questions about the hypnotic mystery of truth now eminating from Washington.

"The Cuban authorities established an interagency committee of experts for the analysis of the facts; extended and strengthened security and safety measures for headquarters, staff and diplomatic residences, and enabled new channels of direct communication between the Embassy and the Department of Diplomatic Security", the statement from the Cuban Foreign Ministry said.


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