Experts Question Study of Attacks on US Diplomats in Cuba

The US embassy in Havana. Photo:


HAVANA TIMES – A dozen neurologists and other brain scientists have questioned an investigation supported by the US government to consider that 26 of its diplomats suffered an attack of unknown origin and claim that it contains errors, reported dpa news.

The “Journal of the American Medical Association” (JAMA), a prestigious publication of the American medical community, today published four different letters from experts that question the investigation that, commissioned by the US government, was made by a team from the University of Pennsylvania.

The Government of Donald Trump assures that since November 2016, a total of 26 diplomats who worked in Cuba and relatives suffered health disorders due to attacks of unknown origin that caused them hearing loss, dizziness, buzzing, headaches, fatigue, cognitive problems and sleep difficulties, among other symptoms.

The US administration does not accuse Cuba of the attacks but does blame its government for not protecting US diplomats as required by the Vienna Convention. In response, the State Department withdrew the majority of its embassy staff in Havana and expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington as a measure of reciprocity.

The critical scientists who sent their letters to JAMA point out, among other things, that the University of Pennsylvania team’s research misinterpreted test results, dismissed psychological explanations for the symptoms, and overlooked common disorders that could have caused discomfort in the affected.

“More research is needed,” said Gerard J. Gianoli, of the Ear and Balance Institute in Louisiana, and two other experts, who say the results point more to damage to the inner ear than to a concussion.

The results of the study of the team of the University of Pennsylvania “reflect an incorrect interpretation of the results of objective cognitive tests,” says Robert Shura, a clinical neuropsychologist in North Carolina, and two other experts.

In its travel alert on Cuba, the State Department has linked the article about that investigation published in February in the JAMA, which concludes that the diplomats had similar injuries to concussions caused by an extended damage to the brain networks.

Although the origin of these types of health problems remains unknown, the United States continues to classify them as “attacks”. Initially it spoke of “acoustic attacks”, but the State Department later said that it considered other possibilities, such as a “viral” attack.

28 thoughts on “Experts Question Study of Attacks on US Diplomats in Cuba

  • August 25, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    I presume that you are using the Royal “we”.

  • August 24, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    You are most welcome Mr MacD.
    And it would seem that we have finally confirmed that the facts which I allude to are beyond any dispute.

  • August 24, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Thank you for your final sentence which my observations upon your comments have confirmed

  • August 24, 2018 at 3:09 am

    Mr MacD, The matter of so called ‘sonic attacks’ comes up regularly. I have previously commented and speculated at great length in response to articles on this theme.
    There are no known ‘facts’ on this. Just comment and speculation.
    But allow me to point out that in your very first comment on this latest article you briefly mentioned ‘sonic attacks’ before moving swiftly onto President Obama’s visit, Cuba’s supposed need to ‘reciprocate’, the embargo etc…
    We have since been exchanging views on these issues raised by yourself.

    In these exchanges I have alluded to the following facts:
    Pretty much all countries in the world have normal relations with Cuba (apart from the USA). This normality does not specifically require Cuba to do what you describe as ‘reciprocate’.
    Representatives of well over 90% of the human race vote repeatedly against the embargo.
    USA’s attitude toward Cuba has, for the past 60 odd years, been heavily influenced by the crucial importance of the 29 Floridian Electoral College votes.

    Now Mr MacD, you can have an opinion on these facts; you can express our viewpoint on these facts but what you cannot do is dispute that they are facts.
    I shall not use the word ‘bigoted’, but to dispute that these are facts would be ‘unreasonable’. Or it would simply display of a lack of knowledge on the subject.

    Now we may have differing viewpoints, but surely you are a reasonable and knowledgeable man Mr MacD?

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