A string of mystery attacks on United States officials stationed in Cuba bears a resemblance to some carried out by the Soviet Union against the American Embassy during the Cold War. A third country, such as Russia, even could have launched the recent attacks, possibly without Cuba’s knowledge.
The State Department is refusing to go into details about the nature of a “variety of physical symptoms” suffered by multiple U.S. government personnel stationed in Havana since disclosing the incidents Wednesday. It was confirmed, however, that some of the affected officials had left Cuba. (Two Cuban diplomats were told to leave the U.S. in May.) An investigation is ongoing.
Based on conversations with U.S. officials, the Associated Press has reported that possibly five diplomats suffered severe hearing loss as a result of the use of a covert sonic weapon. Speaking at a news briefing on Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said she “can’t confirm” the details of the symptoms and said officials were “still trying to determine the actual cause of their situation.”
Deepening the scale of the incident, the Canadian government said some of its personnel had experienced similar symptoms.
“We are aware of unusual symptoms affecting Canadian and U.S. diplomatic personnel and their families in Havana,” Brianne Maxwell, a spokeswoman for Global Affairs Canada, tells Newsweek. “The government is actively working—including with U.S. and Cuban authorities—to ascertain the cause. At this time, we do not have any reason to believe Canadian tourists and other visitors could be affected.”
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