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The U.S. State Department confirmed Wednesday that several American diplomats left the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba, in May after complaining of “a variety of physical symptoms” triggered by unspecified “incidents.”
The Associated Press and CNN reported spokeswoman Heather Nauert’s comments at the agency’s daily press briefing that unnamed sources had confirmed the symptoms included “unexplained losses of hearing” and symptoms similar to those of concussions. The AP notes that their sources believe a “covert sonic device” triggered the symptoms, but there is no confirmation that the Cuban government possessed or used such a device.
Government - Cuba - Acts - Hostility - Diplomats
The communist government in Cuba has denied any acts of physical hostility against American diplomats despite its long history of harassment and abuse of Americans on the island.
“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,” spokeswoman Nauert told reporters Wednesday. “We asked two officials who were accredited in the embassy of Cuba in the United States to depart the United States.”
Nauert - Cubans - Washington - May - Reminder
Nauert confirmed that the Cubans left Washington on May 23. She added a reminder that “the Cuban government has a responsibility and obligation to protect our diplomats.”
Nauert refused, however, to expand upon what sorts of “symptoms” the “incidents” caused, what the “incidents” were, or who or how many people were involved. She also did not note whether the expulsion of Cuban diplomats from Washington was a move to balance the number of diplomats in each country or whether those expelled were involved in the “incidents.” The diplomats were not declared persona non grata, permitting them to return to the United States at a later date.
Wednesday - Evening - Associated - Press - Individuals
On Wednesday evening, the Associated Press reported that the individuals who left the American embassy in Havana did so “with severe hearing loss...
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