Cuba releases details of incident involving US official

The case revived fears that a US rival has developed some kind of acoustic or microwave deviceMore
The case revived fears that a US rival has developed some kind of acoustic or microwave deviceMore

11 June, 2018

The State Department had confirmed earlier that one USA employee assigned to the consulate in Guangzhou had "suffered a medical incident", and that it had deployed a team to screen employees and family members there.

Since the incident, other employees from the consulate and their families have been evacuated.

That word comes from three United States officials.

Guangzhou is one of the most important of the US diplomatic outposts in the country.

Doctors said in February that the symptoms among some 24 Havana embassy staffers were similar to those caused by concussions - headaches, balance problems, sleep disturbances and visual and hearing difficulties.

On June 6, the US government said that it had brought a group of people from that consulate back to the United States for further evaluation of their symptoms, and that it was offering screening to anyone at the USA embassy in Beijing or other consulates in China who requested it.

Cuba said it sent investigators to the home who found no potential source of a sound and were not granted access to the official.

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A security person walks outside the US consulate building in Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong province, Thursday, June 7.

Last year, 24 USA government employees and family members in Cuba displayed the symptoms, which were similar to those related to concussion and mild traumatic brain injury, according to the State Department.

China has said it had looked into the Guangzhou case but came up with no clues about the cause of the symptoms.

In April, Canada said it would remove families of diplomats posted at its embassy in Cuba as information from medical specialists has raised concerns of a new type of brain injury.

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month about the first case in China, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China had "said all the right things and have demonstrated their willingness to help us identify the vector which led to this medical incident".

Until Friday, the most recent suspicious incidents disclosed by the Cuba had been in August 2017, leading many to suspect that the incidents had stopped.

Linda Chen, who runs a coffee shop in the area, said she was mystified as to why only certain people seemed to have been affected in an area known for its comfort and safety.

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