In a bizarre set of events, the U.S. State Department has expelled two Cuban diplomats after several Americans earlier this year at the U.S. Embassy in Havana experienced strange medical symptoms that resulted in hearing loss and were either recalled to the U.S. or allowed to come home.
According to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, the US embassy employees issues first became of these so called ‘incidents’ in 2016 but did not divulge any details at the briefing.
“We don’t have any definitive information about the source or the cause,” she said. “It took time to figure out what this was and we are still looking into it.”
However, The Washington Post reports that U.S. officials believe Cuba used “a covert sonic weapon that left the victims with severe hearing loss.”
The Post writes:
“In the fall of 2016, a series of U.S. diplomats began suffering unexplained losses of hearing, according to officials with knowledge of the investigation into the case. 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.
Some of the diplomats’ symptoms were so severe that they were forced to cancel their tours early and return to the United States, officials said. 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 Cuban government strongly denied any wrongdoing and said in a statement that they would never allow their soil to be used to for actions against diplomats and that it is willing to cooperate with the U.S. to clarify the incidents. They then called the US reaction of expelling the diplomats as ‘baseless.’ However, a Canadian diplomat in Havana has also suffered unexplained hearing loss.
To read the entire article from National Public Radio click here:
Photo courtesy Wikipedia
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