Cuba and the Sonic Attacks on Diplomats in Havana

The problem gets even more complicated because the person leading Cuban special services organization, espionage and counterespionage devices, is President Raul Castro’s son, Alejandro Castro Espin.

By Pedro Campos  (Cubaencuentro)

The US Embassy in Havana, Cuba.

HAVANA TIMES — Nobody could expect Washington to sit with its arms crossed in the face of such an attack.

If Cuban special services were the protagonists, relations between both countries would nosedive, with unclear consequences; but accepting FBI collaboration efforts in situ suggests that the Cuban government doesn’t feel directly responsible for the attack.

If the incident was the result of special services forces belonging to a Cuban ally it would be another story, but it would also be a very complicated situation, as the Cuban government has to ensure the safety of all diplomats, in keeping with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

In such a case, Cuba would have to take very severe measures against this ally, in order to satisfy the US and international community as best they can, the latter also keeping a close eye on Cuba’s reaction to these incidents.

Generally-speaking, any study of international relations will show you that diplomatic bodies and special services respect each other as a rule; for the simple reason that everyone knows that they are open  to reciprocity.

The former Soviet embassy in Miramar, Havana, Now the Russian embassy.

The international relations of those who committed this blunder will pay a very high price.

One thing is the accepted activity of espionage and counterespionage efforts, which, while not recognized, is something which all States practice. It’s a very different thing to cause physical harm to a diplomat or foreign intelligence official.

The problem gets even more complicated in Cuba’s case because the person leading Cuban special services, espionage and counterespionage efforts, is President Raul Castro’s son, Alejandro Castro, who has also been responsible for signing security agreements with Russia and is the person who, at the same time, was leading secret negotiations with Barack Obama’s government so as to reestablish diplomatic relations.

Assuming, in the best case scenario for Cuba, that the harm caused to US and Canadian diplomats had been committed by a third country, who had acted without Cuba’s security forces’ knowledge, these and especially Alejandro Castro would be in a very delicate situation as a result of their incompetence to protect foreign diplomats.

In any other country in the world, a similar situation, caused by actions or neglect, would cost quite a few high-ranking officials their jobs. But in this case, we’ll have to see how far resignations and dismissals go, if there are any, since the Head of State’s son is involved.

If they aren’t sanctioned, the President himself will end up involved and held responsible in the eyes of the international community, who won’t be able to accept such behavior against diplomats from other countries. From now on, Cuban officials could be victims to violations of the Vienna Convention themselves.

Alejandro Castro Espin. Photo:

In any case, if a plausible explanation isn’t found, this incident could end up in a diplomatic crisis not only between Cuba and the US, but between Cuba and the attacking country, between the US and this other country and between Cuba and the US’ international allies.

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations stipulates in Article 29: “The person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of arrest  or detention. The receiving State shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity.”

This matter is currently in progress. Its sensitivity for international relations, not only between the US and Cuba, but for its consequences for the rest of the international diplomatic community, compels Cuba to fully explain these events and to take concrete measures against the country that inflicted this harm.

6 thoughts on “Cuba and the Sonic Attacks on Diplomats in Havana

  • I find it funny how Cuban leadership has fooled the entire world into thinking they are responsible and reasonable. They are nothing less than criminals who have no respect of law or decency. Imagine if the worst elements of the CIA took over the leadership of the USA. They would do anything they wanted to do. This is Cuba. The good news is now we also have Venezuela. Isn’t torture and crime wonderful.

  • Are you serious? Col. Castro is a thug. His is clearly capable of this heavy-handed stunt.

  • It is a problem, but also an opportunity for Alejandro Castro to emerge a more powerful leader. Rogue elements would be severely punished to clarify leadership control. The factions that have emerged in the ruling class need to be trimmed anyway.

  • No, Alejandro was well trained in Moscow so he knows the ropes. But this isn’t a question of spying Michael, it is a question of creating discomfort.
    As for the US, the CIA has a record of incompetence with a multitude of employees and even outside sub-contractors, one of whom toddled of to Hong-Kong and then to Moscow with hundreds of thousands of pieces of classified information.
    But, remember that five of Alejandro’s employees in the US were caught red-handed, so his record is not without blemish.
    I doubt if the US (remember this problem commenced at the time of the Obama administration) would have determined to reward Canada by inflicting the same problem upon their diplomats. After all, it was Canada that hosted the talks between Cuba and the US – in which Alejandro was a participant.
    I don’t see this as a US ‘doublethink’ action.

  • It is to be hoped that those who have been sounding off with criticism of the US (and by association with Canada) about the need for them to cary out investigations, will now comprehend why it is that under the Vienna Convention it is Cuba’s responsibility.

  • Has no one considered that the culprit in this might be the U.S. government, spying on its own people? [I love a good conspiracy theory!]
    At any rate, I guarantee that Colonel Castro Espin knew nothing of it. He is well-versed, in fact an expert, at International Relations. He’d never allow something this sloppy.

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