Havana to investigate 'symptoms' found on US Diplomats

Casey Dawson
August 11, 2017

State Department workers stationed at the U.S. embassy in Cuba were victims of a silent "acoustic attack" - in which sonic weapons were used to induce hearing loss, officials said Wednesday.

USA officials believe a group of American diplomats in Havana suffered severe hearing loss after being exposed to a covert sonic device. Meanwhile, Cuba had strengthened security around the U.S. Embassy, diplomatic and staff residences. The AP also reports an investigation concluded that an advanced sonic weapon placed in or around the diplomats' homes was to blame.

The statement from the Cuban Foreign Ministry said it had been informed of the incidents on February 17 and had launched an "exhaustive, high-priority, urgent investigation at the behest of the highest level of the Cuban government".

But it appears there are real USA victims and that's what is most important. "And we take this extremely seriously".

Nauert said that the two Cuban diplomats were "asked to leave" in May, but she declined to characterize their departure as reciprocity for the incidents.

Cuba has reacted to the expulsion of two of its diplomats based in Washington by promising an investigation into allegations that some unspecified "incidents" have caused physical symptoms in Americans serving at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

Towards the end of a year ago, U.S. diplomats began to suffer mysterious hearing loss, according to investigators.

A communiqué, published by the Cuban Foreign Ministry, says the authorities were informed and they have launched an "exhaustive, high-priority, urgent inquiry", increasing the security measures for all US Embassy employees and US diplomatic presidents.

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According to BBC, it is clear that the two Cuban diplomats left Washington in May.

The U.S. government has said personnel at the U.S. embassy in Havana were evacuated back home for hearing problems and other symptoms over the past six months.

US officials told The Associated Press that about five diplomats, several with spouses, had been affected and that no children had been involved.

Given Trump's aggresive posture against the Cuban regime - and thorn of his comments about Castro's crimes - the fact that a more aggessive response from the U.S.to what amounts to an attack of US diplomats in Cuba does not add up.

Nauert confirmed complaints of "physical symptoms" started in 2016.

The incident threatens to set back relations between the two countries, which President Barack Obama took major strides to fix in 2015.

"The Cuban government has a responsibility and an obligation under the Geneva convention to protect our diplomats, so that is part of the reason why this is such a major concern of ours".

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