U.S. government personnel in Havana report "incidents" causing physical symptoms

US embassy Cuba

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

In fall 2016, the U.S. diplomats reportedly began suffering unexplained losses of hearing. "It's caused a variety of physical symptoms in these American citizens who work for the US government".

On Thursday, the Canadian government confirmed to the Associated Press that at least one of its diplomats had also experienced hearing loss. The US has kicked out two Cuban diplomats in an attempt to address the unusual incidents.

Trump's justification of the partial reversal included a recap of Washington's oft-stated human rights allegations against the government, and the claim that the easing of restrictions hasn't had the desired "regime change" effects desired by anti-Cuban elements on Capitol Hill. The report estimated that "about five" diplomats and spouses were affected and that American investigators had not yet concluded whether "the device was a weapon used in a deliberate attack, or had some other objective".

"Some U.S. government personnel who were working at our embassy in Havana, Cuba, on official duty. reported some incidents which have caused a variety of physical symptoms", Nauert said. "Initially when they started reporting what I will just call symptoms, it took time to figure out what it was and this is still ongoing". "That is why we are being very careful here with what we say. There is a lot we still don't know". She added a reminder that "the Cuban government has a responsibility and obligation to protect our diplomats".

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But some affected employees still remain on the island.

A Cuban wearing a handkerchief with the United States flag in Havana.

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

State Department workers stationed at the U.S. embassy in Cuba were victims of a silent "acoustic attack" - in which sonic weapons were used to induce hearing loss, officials said Wednesday.

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Given Trump's aggresive posture against the Cuban regime - and thorn of his comments about Castro's crimes - the fact that a more aggessive response from the U.S.to what amounts to an attack of US diplomats in Cuba does not add up. American diplomats operating in Cuba are known to be subject to surveillance and harassment, but the latest revelation is a substantial escalation.

It also led to the expulsion of the Cuban diplomats from the US back in May.

Cuba's ministry of foreign affairs issued a statement saying it "has never permitted, nor will permit, that Cuban territory be used for any action against accredited diplomatic officials or their families".

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