Cuba Acoustic Attack: US Diplomats Suffer Hearing Loss

Frederick Owens
August 11, 2017

"Some US government personnel who were working at our embassy in Havana, Cuba. reported some incidents which have caused a variety of physical symptoms". The State Department says the US responded by expelling two Cuban diplomats from Washington in May.

Ms Nauert said staff began complaining of the odd symptoms late past year.

"The Cuban government has been harassing U.S. personnel working in Havana for decades", he said.

The State Department has expelled two Cuban diplomats from the United States over safety concerns of American officials who reported experiencing unexplained "physical symptoms" while working in Cuba, according to reports.

Americans serving in Cuba had returned to the U.S for non life-threatening "medical reasons".

An FBI official told CBS News the bureau has been looking into the issue.

No children were affected, but at least some of the adults who were are believed to have suffered permanent hearing loss, according to the officials.

Several of the diplomats were recent arrivals at the embassy, which reopened in 2015 as part of former President Barack Obama's reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

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After the incidents the US retaliated by sending two Cuban diplomats, based in Washington, back to the island country.

Nauert confirmed the report Wednesday during a briefing.

The Cuban government has so far refused to comment on the reports, or the expulsion of its diplomats. She added a reminder that "the Cuban government has a responsibility and obligation to protect our diplomats".

The Cuban government said in a lengthy statement late Wednesday that "Cuba has never permitted, nor will permit, that Cuban territory be used for any action against accredited diplomatic officials or their families, with no exception".

"We don't know exactly what...what this requires is providing medical examinations to these people", Nauert said.

"Cuba addressed this matter with utmost seriousness and has acted with promptness and professionalim to clarify the situation", the statement read, "initiating an exhaustive, prioritized, and urgent investigation at the highest levels of the Cuban government". Along with probing possible Cuban responsibility, investigators are also exploring the possibility that the attack was carried out by a third country, like Russian Federation, operating without the Cuban government's knowledge. "And we take this extremely seriously".

"Cuba is universally considered a safe destination for visitors and foreign diplomats, including USA citizens", the statement said. "We have worked with the Cubans to try and find out what is going on".

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

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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