US Embassy Expels 2 Cuban Diplomats After 'Incidents' in Havana

Randolph Lopez
August 11, 2017

Any other personnel who believe they have also been affected are being monitored and provided with medical care.

According to the Associated Press, if the investigation does conclude Cuba is behind the attack on US diplomats, such a find would be "unprecedented".

President Barack Obama reopened the USA embassy in Havana in 2015 following the announcement of a new, pro-Castro American policy that would allow American businesses to further enrich the Castro regime while accepting Raúl Castro's repeated demands that "nothing" would be expected from the regime in return, in particular, respect for global human rights norms.

The State Department "took further action" on May 23 and asked two Cuban officials working at the embassy in the United States to depart the country, according to Nauert.

It has been suggested that covert sonic devices which emit inaudible sound waves may have been placed either inside or outside the diplomats residences in the Cuban capital. 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 subsequently got hearing aids, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Some U.S. government personnel working at the embassy in Havana, Cuba, on official duty, working on behalf of the U.S embassy there, have reported some incidents that have caused a variety of physical symptoms", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters.

A source familiar with the matter tells CBS News that USA officials are now looking into whether the incidents were caused by a possible type of acoustics device that was in, or outside, homes of embassy workers provided by the Cuban government. "Cuban territory to be used for any action against accredited diplomatic officials or their families, without exception", they said in a statement.

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The incident caused a diplomatic row between the two countries, leading to two Cuban diplomats being expelled from Washington in May.

US officials told The Associated Press that about five diplomats had been affected. "That is why we are being very careful here with what we say".

About five diplomats, including some spouses, had been affected, but no children were involved, USA officials said.

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.

The diplomatic kerfuffle comes at a time of heightened uncertainty over the relationship between the USA and Cuba. Like virtually all foreign diplomats in Cuba, the victims of the incidents lived in housing owned and maintained by the Cuban government. Along with probing possible Cuban responsibility, investigators are also exploring the possibility that the attack was carried out by a third country, like Russian Federation, operating without the Cuban government's knowledge.

In late 2016 a number of US diplomats at the Havana embassy experienced unexplained and severe loss of hearing. She did not go into details but did say Cuba has been reminded of its obligation under the Geneva Convention to protect foreign diplomats.

"Cuba took this issue with the utmost seriousness and acted expeditiously and professionally in order to clarify the facts of this situation, initiating a comprehensive, priority and urgent investigation on the indications of the highest level of the Cuban government", the ministry said in the statement. The use of sonic devices to intentionally harm diplomats would be unprecedented.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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