Cuba: Canadian diplomat struck by headaches and hearing loss

Cuba: Canadian diplomat struck by headaches and hearing loss

Cuba: Canadian diplomat struck by headaches and hearing loss

It is not unprecedented or uncommon for American officials in Cuba to be harassed, pointing to the start of the practice emerging under the island's communist government in the 1970s.

So some U.S. Government personnel who were working at our embassy in Havana, Cuba on official duties - so they were there working on behalf of the U.S. embassy there - they've reported some incidents which have caused a variety of physical symptoms.

An exterior view of the U.S. Embassy is seen in Havana, Cuba, June 19, 2017.

"We felt like we needed to respond to the Cubans and remind them of their responsibility under the Vienna convention", one of the officials said. "It's caused a variety of physical symptoms in these Americans who work for the USA government".

Cuban officials say they approached the matter with the "utmost seriousness", although also said the U.S. decision to expel two Cuban diplomats was "unjustified and unsubstantiated". Americans serving in Cuba had returned to the U.S for non life-threatening "medical reasons".

A group of American diplomats working in Havana were left with severe hearing loss due to a covert sonic device, U.S. officials have claimed.

The Associated Press claims that in Autumn 2016 a number of embassy staff in the Cuban capital were left with "severe hearing loss attributed to a covert sonic device".

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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. In her cagey comments yesterday, Nauert would only refer to an "incident" in which diplomats experienced "physical symptoms". Some had to go to the USA for treatment and one is thought to have become permanently deaf. "They insist they don't know, but it has been very worrying and troublesome". Many of them had arrived recently at the embassy, which had reopened the year before, as part of Barack Obama's new attempt to reestablish relations with the country.

The Cuban Foreign Ministry got involved thereafter, and launched their own "exhaustive, high-priority, urgent investigation at the behest of the highest level of the Cuban government".

According to the Cuban Foreign Ministry, the U.S. Department of State informed the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C., of its decision to expel two Cuban diplomats from the United States on May 23.

"Cuba is universally considered a safe destination for visitors and foreign diplomats, including US citizens", the statement said.

Cuba employs a state security apparatus that keeps many people under surveillance and U.S. diplomats are among the most closely monitored people on the island.

After the incidents the USA retaliated by sending two Cuban diplomats, based in Washington, back to the island country. As a result, the USA on May 23 asked two Cuban officials in Washington to leave the country and they have done so.

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