Joint Cuban, U.S. probe finds no evidence of sonic attacks

The Cuban Foreign Ministry has issued a statement calling on the U.S. government to stop the "political manipulation" of alleged health issues.

A fourth meeting was held in Washington D.C. Tuesday between authorities from law enforcement agencies from Cuba and the United States, the Cuban foreign ministry said, adding that joint investigations by the agencies from both countries have found no evidence of the alleged sonic attacks against U.S. diplomats in Havana.

The statement said that the Cuban delegation urged the United States government to stop its hostile behavior and “political manipulation” towards the Caribbean country using “the alleged health incidents that became a pretext to adopt new unilateral measures that affect the operation of the respective embassies, particularly, the rendering of consular services depended upon by hundreds of thousands of people.”

The meeting was concluded with an agreement to “continue with this dialogue and to keep holding the technical meetings between the law enforcement agencies from both countries to bring bilateral cooperation to fruition,” the statement of the Cuban ministry said.

Last year, so-called 'sonic attacks' led to the withdrawal of U.S. diplomatic staff in Cuba, after 24 staff displayed concussion-like symptoms, according to the State Department. No evidence was ever found to support the allegations.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
  • Published in Cuba

Cuba Rejects US Claims of Another 'Attack' Against Diplomats

"The supposed concern for health and security is used with political opportunism," a Cuban official said.

 Cuba has denounced U.S. "opportunism" for claiming that health problems reported by U.S. diplomatic staff in Havana are "attacks" after another case of a "mysterious illness" was reported.

RELATED: US Diplomatic Staff Flee China After Mystery 'Medical Incident'

The U.S. State Department said on Thursday that another diplomat had been affected by a "mysterious illness" in Cuba, and said it would "work diligently to determine the cause of the symptoms, as well as develop mitigation measures."

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said that Cuba was informed of the "attack."

The director of the United States in the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, said the insistence of the State Department on using the term "attack" to describe the incidents confirms the United States is opportunistically using them for political motives.

"The supposed concern for health and security is used with political opportunism," Fernandez de Cossio said, noting that Washington has a long history of political manipulation in the Caribbean island.

The Cuban official reiterated his country's commitment to guaranteeing the security of all foreign diplomats, including those of the United States, and that it has and will continue to cooperate in every way possible to identify the cause of these reported symptoms.

Similar symptoms were also recently reported by U.S. diplomats in China, leading to their evacuation.

Last year, so-called 'sonic attacks' led to the withdrawal of U.S. diplomatic staff in Cuba, after 24 staff displayed concussion-like symptoms, according to the State Department. No evidence was ever found to support the allegations.

The incident led to heightened tensions between the two countries and coincided with the United States' souring of bilateral relations after several years of openness under Barack Obama.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuban FM: “There is no evidence of sonic attacks on US diplomats.”

“The decline in Cuba-U.S. relations has worsened as a result of the recent decisions of the US government”, asserted in Washington Cuban FM Bruno Rodriguez.

At a press conference, Rodriguez criticized Washington’s decisions to substantially reduce the staff of its embassy in Havana, and to unfoundedly expel 17 officials of the Cuban mission here.

“Such steps, under the pretext of alleged incidents with its diplomats, have aversively affected the operation of the Cuban embassy, particularly of the Economic-Commercial Office, which was dismantled, and the Consulate, whose staff situation is difficult”, the minister stated.

“What is the aim behind this decision that has left the business sector without partner and has caused serious affectations on consular services to Cubans living in the United States?”, he asked.

He also asked about the purpose for the suspension of visa processing in the US Consulate in Havana, which paralyzed Cubans’ steps to emigrate or visit the neighboring nation.

Rodríguez pointed out that these decisions have been accompanied by repeated disrespectful and offensive pronouncements against his country by US President Donald Trump, “who retook the hostile rhetoric of the periods of greater confrontation.”

“Trump and senior officials of his administration have dared to claim that their diplomats in Havana have suffered attacks and directly blamed the Cuban government, when they have been unable to show the slightest evidence in this regard”, the FM remarked.

He pointed out that the measures adopted against the island are unjustified and politically motivated, because “they are not based on evidence or conclusive investigative results.”

The foreign minister of the Caribbean nation criticized the lack of collaboration of US authorities in these events, which the Donald Trump administration describes as attacks without showing any evidence on them.

“Why were the incidents reported so late, most of them weeks and months after the alleged attacks happened? Why has the information provided by U.S. been extemporaneous and insufficient?”, asked the head of diplomacy of the Antillean nation.

Rodríguez also said that the medical information provided to Cuba has been general and lacks objective data, as well as that there have been no meetings among experts from the two countries on the technology that could allegedly been used.

The Cuban official noted that despite these and other insufficiencies, the authorities of the Caribbean country continue the investigation and preliminarily concluded there does not exist evidence of the occurrence of the alleged incidents, nor the causes or origin of the health conditions notified by the diplomats and their relatives.

'There is also no evidence that these health problems have been caused by an attack of any nature during their stay in Cuba”, remarked the foreign minister on the symptoms that, according to the US Department of State, include migraine, dizziness, hearing loss and mild brain injuries.”

According to the minister, it is highly striking that the US government is still talking about attacks and acoustic attacks” and takes punitive measures against Cuba, when it is expertly demonstrated that such events are not possible.

“The diversity of the reported symptoms cannot be associated with a single cause and there is no known technology that allows targeting a sound source selectively against specific people, without affecting others”, the minister added.

In responding a question from Prensa Latina, Rodríguez said Cuba is willing to continue the cooperation to investigate this sensitive issue and shares the concern over the health conditions that US diplomats may have.

“The Cuban government, he stressed, has no responsibility whatsoever in the incidents to have affected US diplomats.”

On the other hand, Rodríguez positively assessed the four exchanges held with representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), who, he added, have been provided with all facilities to work on the ground.

“Washington should stop politicizing this issue, which may cause an escalation and further roll back bilateral relations, with damaging consequences for both peoples and countries”, he stressed.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

  • Published in Specials

U.S. and the hearing loss of its diplomats in Havana

Is it true that Cuba-United States relations remain?

That's what repeated statements from “anonymous sources” of the Department of State ascertain and, of course, it’s the firm political will the Cuban government has stated many times, not only to keep them, but to improve them as well beyond the natural discrepancies, stressing the matters of common interest based on mutual respect, sovereignty and self-determination of both parties. But, if one follows the facts of the last months and weeks, and partly the words, by the minute it would seem that the course Washington has given to this issue, if it does not seek to break the relations reestablished on December 17, 2014, at least it seeks to reduce them to a mere formalism, almost nothing.

Let’s approach the latest events of this hypoacoustic saga? On September 29, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced a substantial withdrawal of the staff of its embassy in Havana and said that all relatives would be repatriated. He justified the move by claiming that “attacks” have been perpetrated against officials of the US government in Cuba, which have affected their health. The Cuban government, besides being informed very late by the American side over those alleged “attacks” and health problems of its diplomatic staff in Cuba, has hardly received details of importance as to make a judgment on them.

Days later, on October 3, the US government, in another unjustified action, decided that 15 Cuban embassy officials had to leave the American territory, on the basis of “the reduction of its diplomatic staff in Havana and that Havana hadn’t made the necessary steps to prevent “attacks” against them”. The Cuban Foreign Ministry protested and termed this decision groundless and unacceptable, as well as the pretext that Cuba did not take appropriate measures to prevent those alleged incidents.

Regarding the steps made by Havana, we will talk later, but it’s nonsense to justify the expulsion of the Cuban personnel by the fact that Washington decided to withdraw part of its staff. Previously, on May 23, two Cuban diplomats were ordered to leave Washington "in a sudden, inappropriate and unthinking manner", as was described by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which argued the absence of evidence on what Washington called incidents at that time and starting last Friday it calls attacks. The ongoing investigation agreed between the two countries had hardly progressed due to US reluctance to comply with its part and Cuba could not, therefore, be guilty of anything.

At the meeting held –at Cuba’s request– between Tillerson and Cuban FM Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, the latter warned him not to make quick decisions with unfounded evidences, urged him not to politicize the issue and reiterated the request of effective cooperation of the US authorities to clear up the events and conclude the investigation.

Now, it is necessary to point out that Cuba was not informed by the American side until February 2017

about the alleged incidents against the officials of its diplomatic mission in Havana and their relatives occurred since November 2016, which caused them hearing loss, dizziness and other symptoms. Nevertheless, the Cuban government stepped in immediately and at the suggestion of President Raúl Castro it began an investigation whose seriousness and professionalism have been acknowledged by the three groups of experts from US agencies that the Cuban government has allowed to visit the island. Cuba also created an expert committee composed of doctors, scientists and police chiefs.

As colleague Rosa Miriam Elizalde has asked, have the victims of the strange sonic attack in Cuba been examined by physicians from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center?, Will there exist any report on the case from the National Institute of Health? This is not a useless question, because they might have been examined by doctors chosen at University of Miami by senator and failed presidential candidate Marcos Rubio. As it’s well known, Rubio has found a mine to refloat himself political and financially in the war against Cuba and Venezuela. Everything can happen in that country today.

Twitter:@aguerraguerra

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi TranslationStaff



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