Canada says that at least one of its diplomats has suffered “unusual symptoms” during their stay in Cuba, similar to those reported by US officials.
HAVANA TIMES — The mysterious “incidents” that affected US diplomats in Cuba also struck the Canadian embassy, the BBC reports.
Justin Trudeau’s government announced on Thursday that at least one of its diplomats has suffered “unusual symptoms” during their stay in Havana, similar to those reported by US officials.
The day before, the US Department of State confirmed that members from its diplomatic personnel in Havana were forced to leave Cuba after a series of “incidents” that made them experience a “variety of physical symptoms.”
The spokesperson from Global Affairs Canada, Brianne Maxwell, confirmed that officials from the Canadian embassy had also been affected by these events, which none of the three governments have offered details about.
“Maxwell stated that employees from several Canadian government agencies “are aware of unusual symptoms affecting Canadian and US diplomatic personnel and their families in Havana” and affirmed that authorities are working on finding out what this is.
“Our government is actively working to ascertain the cause,” she stated.
Reuters pointed out the fact that a US official had anonymously informed them that several US Department of State employees working in Havana, were repatriated with hearing loss in 2016.
Meanwhile, anonymous sources from the US government told Associated Press that the diplomats’ hearing loss could be linked to sonic devices that emit inaudible sound waves that can cause deafness.
According to AP sources, investigators think that these devices had been deployed either inside or outside diplomats’ homes.
They are also considering the possiblity of a third country, “like Russia”, being behind the “incidents”, AP reported.
A US government official told CNN news that these events suggest that this isn’t a case of espionage, but “an attack” and repeated that a third country could be involved “taking revenge” for actions “causing controversy between the United States and Cuba.”
Two years after embassies were officially reestablished in Washington and Havana, the United States announced on Wednesday that it had expelled two Cuban diplomats last May in response to the “incidents” that took place in Cuba in 2016.
“Some members of our personnel had the option to leave Cuba because of health problems. As a result of this, we invited two Cuban officials to leave the United States and they have already,” US Department of State spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, affirmed.
Meanwhile, the Cuban government has “outrightly” denied its territory being allowed to be used “for any kind of action against accredited diplomats” and stated that it was willing to clear up the “incidents”.
“Cuban authorities have created an interdepartmental committee of experts to analyze the events; stepping up and expanding protection and security measures at the embassy, for its personnel and dioplomatic homes; and have set up new lines of direct communication between the Embassy and the Department of Diplomatic Security,” the spokesperson from the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs reassured.
Cuba has called the United State’s decision to expel the two Cuban diplomats in response to “incidents” reported in Havana “unjustified and baseless” and has repeated its “willingness to cooperate in clearing up this situation.”