What We Know About An 'Incident' At The US Embassy In Cuba

Marie Harrington
August 11, 2017

President Donald Trump rolled back part of his predecessor 's policy toward Cuba, but has left in place numerous changes, including the re-opened U.S. Embassy in Havana.

More incidents reportedly followed, which led American diplomats to leave Cuba.

USA officials, speaking to the agency anonymously, said investigations had determined devices had been deployed either inside or outside diplomats' homes.

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".

Some subsequently got hearing aids, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Investigators are also considering the possibility that a third country, such as Russian Federation, was behind the incidents, officials familiar with the inquiry told AP.

About five diplomats, including some spouses, had been affected, but no children were involved, United States officials said. In her cagey comments yesterday, Nauert would only refer to an "incident" in which diplomats experienced "physical symptoms".

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A spokesperson for the State Department's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs says the department does not have "definitive answers on the source or cause of the incidents". She added that they are "monitoring it", and providing any necessary medical care.

Diplomats working in Cuba and their families became ill last autumn with symptoms resembling concussions, including a loss of hearing. I'm not going to be able to give you a ton of information about this today, but I'll tell you what we do have that we can provide so far. "The government is actively working - including with United States and Cuban authorities - to ascertain the cause". The State Department says the US responded by expelling two Cuban diplomats from Washington in May.

The incidents date to late past year, she said. When asked specifically what the incidents were, Nauert replied, "That's what we're calling it".

It also said it had objected to the expulsion of its officials, while also urging the United States to work together to shed light on the incidents.

The foreign ministry said it had started a "comprehensive, priority and urgent investigation" into the alleged incidents after it had been informed of them by the U.S. embassy in February. Buzzfeed News reported on Wednesday that the worldwide community has gotten the impression Trump is really only focused on undoing anything that was started by the Obama administration. He sent several diplomats, the same ones that began noticing hearing loss in 2016.

We take this situation very seriously. This post will be updated if we learn more.

She characterized the incidents as non-life threatening, however, there is an FBI and Diplomatic Security Service investigation into what occurred over the past few months. This device sure does sound sinister, though.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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