Over mysterious health symptoms
HAVANA TIMES – The United States is considering closing its embassy in Cuba after some diplomats suffered mysterious health problems in recent months, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said today, reported dpa news.
“We are evaluating it,” Tillerson said, when asked about speculation indicating the United States might close its embassy in Cuba, after it was announced that several diplomats serving on the island suffered minor brain injuries or permanent hearing loss due to supposed sonic attacks.
“It’s a very serious issue regarding the harm that certain individuals have suffered,” Tillerson said Sunday in a television interview with CBS News. “We’ve brought some of those people home.
Last month, the State Department reported that some diplomats had shown “certain types of symptoms” from an “attack on their health.” Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said last week that the case was being investigated.
Earlier, the US government had said that an “incident” last year in Havana left US diplomats with “a series of physical symptoms.” About 19 people are affected in total, according to the information. The first cases became known in late 2016.
The Canadian government also reported a similar case involving at least one of its diplomats in Cuba, who was treated at the hospital after showing “unusual symptoms” including headaches and hearing loss.
In retaliation, Washington expelled two Cuban diplomats in May of this year. But the Cuban government denied any kind of attack against foreign diplomats.
Former US President Barack Obama reestablished diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than 50 years and the embassy resumed operations in Havana in 2015.
President Trump took a number of steps to reverse some of Obama’s policies regarding Cuba, although the specific restrictions are still pending from the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Treasury Department known as OFAC.