Mysterious Health Issues Drove US Diplomats From Cuba

  • Mysterious Health Issues Drove US Diplomats From Cuba

Mysterious Health Issues Drove US Diplomats From Cuba

The FBI is reportedly investigating who was behind an "acoustic attack" that inflicted at least two staffers of the U.S. Embassy in Havana with sudden hearing loss.vWashington expelled two Cuban diplomats earlier this year in response to the incident, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday.

"Cuba has never, nor would ever, allow the Cuban territory to be used for any kind of action against accredited diplomats or their families", the ministry said.

As reports emerged of a mysterious incident of American diplomats experiencing hearing loss at the USA embassy in Cuba, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov met with Josefina Vidal, director general of the us division of the Cuban foreign ministry, and later the Cuban ambassador to Russia Emilio Lozada Garcia.

They had been reporting physical symptoms resembling concussions since the latter half of 2016 but it is believed that those affected were not at the same place at the same time. But a State Department official said someone placed an inaudible sonic device either inside or outside US diplomatic residences in Havana. "We still are trying to determine the actual cause of their situation", she said, referring to the diplomats who have left Cuba.

"We don't have any definitive answers about the source or the cause of the matter", she said.

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.

Maxwell added that officials don't have any reason to believe Canadian tourists and other visitors could be affected.

They specifically want to know what information Jeffrey DeLaurentis, President Barack Obama's chief of mission in Cuba, knew about the incidents in questions and whether he and others in the administration tried to cover it up in an effort to protect Obama's diplomatic détente with Cuba.

"What this requires is providing medical examinations to these people", Nauert said.

Global Affairs Canada spokeswoman Brianne Maxwell said Canadian officials "are aware of unusual symptoms affecting Canadian and United States diplomatic personnel and their families in Havana".

In a statement issued Wednesday, Cuba strenuously denied playing any role in any attacks against foreign officials.

In the 1960s, during the Cold War, the US government discovered that its embassy in Moscow had been besieged with low-level microwaves.

Tourists drive in a vintage auto past the US embassy while on a sightseeing tour through Havana, December 18, 2015.

Citing an anonymous government official, CNN reports that the United States is still investigating the possibility this was an attack by a third country that might be trying to harm America's relations with Cuba. It called the expulsion of its staff unjustified but said it was willing to co-operate with Washington to clarify what had happened.

Later, after some America staff left, U.S. officials asked two Cuban diplomats to leave Washington in response.

Later Wednesday, the Cuban government confirmed the report.

About five diplomats, several with spouses, were affected, the AP said.