U.S. still at a loss to explain Cuba 'attacks' on envoys

U.S. still at a loss to explain Cuba 'attacks' on envoys

U.S. still at a loss to explain Cuba 'attacks' on envoys

Todd Brown, Deputy Director of Diplomatic Security at the State Department, said that in addition to the possibility of an acoustic or sonic attack, USA researchers are considering the possibility of someone infecting the victims with a virus.

Vidal rejected the statements made by several State Department officials, saying they were "unacceptable".

A few days ago, an Federal Bureau of Investigation report was leaked to United States media, according to which no evidence of an acoustic attack has been found. However, Cuban doctors investigating the incident concluded that US officials underwent a "collective psychogenic disorder" and have linked brain abnormalities to their symptoms related to hearing, vision, balance, and memory.

Some in Washington have begun to wonder if now is the time to start sending non-essential staff back to the Havana embassy, since there's no proof of what happened.

"They should be doing more to help us solve it", Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Steve Goldstein, said. Asked why not, the official would only say there are a range of views within the USA government as to what could be happening, the American situation is different from Canada's and Canada's decisions are meant to ensure staff welfare.

"We're not considering restoring staff", he added.

"The acoustic element could be used as a masking piece", Brown told the senators.

The official didn't know whether it was possible that Canadians might be targeted because a perpetrator believed they were American.

Earlier, addressing the committee and the official witnesses, Rubio had dismissed the idea that anyone other than a government could have been behind the incident.


The Cuban official categorically denied any responsibility of Cuban authorities on the alleged health problems reported by US diplomats, and underlined that Cuba has never perpetrated nor it would do harm to any foreign representative, not it would allowed third parties act against the physical integrity of any diplomat, without exception.

The first suspected attack was traced back to November 2016, and the last two took place in mid-August 2017, after Washington had protested to Havana and withdrawn some staff.

Dr. Charles Rosenfarb, the State Department's chief doctor, also dismissed speculation that the illnesses were psychosomatic.

A total of 24 Americans, including at least one relative of embassy personnel, reported the health problems. No symptoms were experienced at the Canadian embassy itself, the official said.

"Various descriptions were given; a high-pitched sound, an incapacitating sound, a buffeting sensation akin to driving with one window open or just an intense pressure in one ear". "There is a virus, there is an ultrasound, and there are a variety of things that the technical experts are looking at". However, he admitted that the cause of the symptoms and whoever is behind the alleged attacks is not yet known.

Rosenfarb said the only similar case he was aware of involved suspicions during the Cold War before 1976 that U.S. diplomats in Moscow were hurt by Russian microwave transmitters.

Tillerson is renewing the probe to get to the bottom of what happened after the Cuban government denied any involvement, claiming the allegations were being used as "political manipulation" aimed at damaging bilateral relations, the BBC reported Tuesday.

"There is a long history and pattern of Cuban harassment of diplomats in Havana", Palmieri said, declining to speculate on why or if Raul Castro's regime had chosen to escalate.

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