USA government personnel in Havana report "incidents" causing physical symptoms

USA government personnel in Havana report

USA government personnel in Havana report "incidents" causing physical symptoms

In 2012, the Miami Herald quoted a U.S. State Department official who said American diplomats on the island were treated regularly to "harassment and contempt" including Cuban government agents "shouting insults at them from their cars, publishing photos of their vehicles", and harassing diplomats' children.

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

The Cuban government has assured the USA that it is investigating and will take appropriate measures, officials said.

It comes a day after the United States said its diplomats in Havana were experiencing unusual physical symptoms. After months of investigation, USA officials concluded that the diplomats had been exposed to an advanced device that operated outside the range of audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residences.

Nauert did not provide further details about the cause or consequences of the symptoms, other than to say that they were not life-threatening.

In fact, American diplomats who were stationed in Cuba in 2016 returned home with hearing-loss issues.

One hypothesis, according to sources who spoke to the BBC, is that the hearing loss could have been caused by a sonic device whose emission of inaudible sound waves could cause deafness if placed outside the diplomats' homes.

The U.S. Embassy in Havana was reopened in 2015 following then-President Barack Obama's normalizing of relations with Cuba. "And, as result of that, we have asked two Cubans to leave the United States and they have".

Nauert confirmed that the Cubans left Washington on May 23.

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.

"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 foreign ministry said in a statement. Officials cautioned the AP that Cuba may have been unaware the attacks were happening, and that a third country like Russian Federation may have been responsible. "And we take this extremely seriously". Some had to go to the USA for treatment and one is thought to have become permanently deaf.

But it appears that things between the US and Cuba are no place near friendly now.

President Trump announced a couple of months ago he was rolling back numerous advances with Cuba that Obama had overseen.

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