Canada to Review its Cuba Presence after Latest Odd Diplomat Illness

The Canadian Global Affairs headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.

HAVANA TIMES – Canada will review its diplomatic presence in Cuba following another case of a mysterious illness among its embassy staff in Havana that has baffled researchers in Canada and the United States, officials said Thursday.

Next week, senior officials with Global Affairs Canada will travel to Havana to review Canadian diplomatic operations in Cuba, a senior Canadian official said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity during a background briefing in Ottawa, reports dpa news.

While it is too early to say what steps might be taken, all options are on the table, the official said.

“We’ll be looking at our operations, we’ll be looking at our footprint of staff, and we’ll be looking at what is the impact of this new information that we’ve received,” he added when pressed to elaborate. “It’s difficult to speculate even on the breadth of the options that are out there.”

The latest case, which was identified in the early summer of this year, brings the total of Canadian diplomatic officials and their family members affected by the mysterious illness to 13, raising serious questions about the health and safety of Canadian diplomats in Cuba, officials said.

The individual, who cannot be identified due to privacy concerns, has suffered a “constellation of symptoms” of what the media are calling the “Havana Syndrome,” officials said.

These symptoms include nosebleeds, nausea, dizziness, loss of balance, headaches, hearing and vision complications, and fatigue, officials said.

US diplomats in Cuba began reporting similar mystery symptoms in 2016.

Robert Palladino, the deputy spokesman for the US State Department, said Wednesday that he is “not aware of any new cases” of the illness among US citizens in Cuba.

“We are in close coordination on a pretty regular basis with the Canadian government on these issues,” Palladino added.

Cuban officials have fully cooperated in the investigation, Canadian officials said.

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2 thoughts on “Canada to Review its Cuba Presence after Latest Odd Diplomat Illness

  • Isn’t it odd that those of the far left who mocked the reported problems at the US Embassy have fallen silent about similar problems at the Canadian Embassy. could that reflect political bias or just plain ignorance?

  • I do not have any admiration for the staff of the Canadian Embassy who are difficult to deal with compared with those who serve the UK at its Embassy in Havana and who don’t even bother to interview visa applicants but reject them for ridiculous reasons such as: “Lack of travel experience.” But, there is no reason to disbelieve the information from Ottawa.
    This is a matter for MININT (the Cuban Ministry of the Interior) to resolve, for it is responsible for all security services both internal and external. That however is a difficulty, for why would any country other than communist ones, collaborate with Cuba’s notorious security services.
    Cuba will undoubtedly be reluctant to allow researchers from Canada or the US to do any work within Cuba for like Cuba, they too have security services. It is in Cuba’s best interests to resolve the difficulty which may or may not be of their creation.

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