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 23, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    I observe no facts to back up your your opinions. Was your “rational argument” supported by facts related in any way to the sonic attacks? If so do explain! I only quoted the dictionary to illustrate that my use of the word bigoted was accurate and because you clearly were confused by its use when you wrote: “It’s unfortunate that you choose to introduce such words as ‘bigoted’.”
    Perhaps you mentally related it to ‘bigot’ which has a very different meaning. I do not consider you to be a bigot – ie: a superstitious religious hypocrite

  • August 23, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    I provide a rational argument backed up by facts Mr MacD. You counter with rhetoric.

    So we’ve firmly established that your views are out of step with the world at large and now you’ve had a look in the dictionary for a definition of the word bigoted…..

    ‘obstinately convinced of the superiority or correctness of one’s own opinions and prejudiced against those who hold different opinions’

    Now you’ve had a look good in the dictionary, how about taking a good look in the mirror?

  • August 23, 2018 at 10:50 am

    So Nick, where are your comments upon the subject of the article: “the actual issues”?

    obstinately convinced of the superiority or correctness of one’s own opinions and prejudiced against those who hold different opinions
    Oxford English Dictionary

    If one cares to examine the differences between you and I Nick, I tend to relate fact and comment upon it, whereas you tend to criticize the views of others without substantiation of fact. You rush to criticize others with your ‘balanced’ views, whilst avoiding providing contradictory fact.

    If you re-read the first paragraph of my initial comment of August 15, you will note that I directly addressed the subject of sonic attacks. You totally failed to address the subject of the article, due to your enthusiasm to criticize my views without substantiation of fact and to demonstrate your prejudice against my opinions.

    Hence my comment that you are bigoted.

  • August 23, 2018 at 5:40 am

    You have no rational counter argument, Mr MacD.
    All you have is repetitious rhetoric.
    You can pour forth on cold war issues, atomic bombs, ‘Marxist’ British politicians and suchlike but show a complete inability to address the actual issues.
    Due to your inability to provide rational counter argument or address the actual issues, you choose to describe my opinion, which is in line with the vast majority of global opinion on these issues, as ‘bigoted’.
    And that’s all you’ve got.

  • August 22, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    I used the word bigoted in its actual meaning Nick. That as you doubtless are aware is quite different from describing someone as a bigot. Your response demonstrates the accuracy of my observation.

  • August 22, 2018 at 10:49 am

    It’s unfortunate that you choose to introduce words such as ‘bigoted’.
    A clear sign that you do not have any rational or logical argument.
    It is you that is totally out of step with the vast majority on this issue. It is you who is still residing in some old cold war era. And it is you who takes sides with a small minority in Miami who punch way above their weight in influencing US Policy (due to the arcane Electoral College system which was designed for the late 1700s).
    My comments reflect the rational viewpoint of the world at large on this issue.

    By your non-logic, If Mrs MacD were to hit you round the head each day with a frying pan, it would be because you deserve it?

  • August 21, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Would you normalize relations with a dictator who said that he had an ambition to drop three atomic bombs on one of your largest cities and whose brother urged a first atomic strike upon your country?
    It is correct that I prefer capitalist freedom to communist dictatorship – if that makes me an “arch capitalist” whose views lean very much to the right – in your own mind which leans very much towards rationalizing the totalitarian practices of the left, then that is your bigoted opinion.

  • August 21, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Mr MacD, I think you are in all probability, a sincere man. I think you sincerely hold arch capitalist views which lean very much toward the right.

    Let me try one more time to see if you can understand what is a really very straightforward point:
    It is the USA’s responsibility to normalise it’s abnormal relations with Cuba.
    The rest of the world has normal relations with Cuba. If the USA normalised relations then it would have this in common with the rest of the world.
    The USA’s abnormal relations with Cuba are widely held (throughout the world) to be due to the concern of US Presidential candidates that a group of Cuban emigres are powerful enough to deliver the 29 Florida Electoral College Votes each time a US Election comes around.

    Now I haven’t made these basic facts up Mr MacD. These facts are widely recognised throughout the world. If you don’t understand these facts, try reading them through a few times.
    If you do understand but disagree then that’s fine.
    If you do understand but think that Cuba ought to ‘reciprocate’ in some way, that’s also fine.
    It’s just differences of opinion.

    Let me put it this way Mr MacD:
    If Mrs MacD were to hit you round the head with a frying pan on a daily basis, the rest of the world would say that her behaviour was abnormal. If she then realised that the rest of the world was right and that her behaviour was indeed abnormal and decided to stop hitting you with a frying pan, I wouldn’t say that you would in any way be obliged to ‘reciprocate’.
    In fact I would simply say ‘Yer missus stopped beating you up with the old frying pan Mr MacD? Good stuff. Pleased to hear it my old mate’.

    As I have said many times without the slightest prevarication I don’t live in your ‘good vs evil’ fantasy world. But I shall no doubt get a taste of it in the next Star Wars movie.

    And please don’t suggest that I blame Mr P for the rise of trump or anything that the USA does or any policy it may have.
    It would not be at all appropriate for me to do that and it’s not really very appropriate of you to suggest that I’m doing that.

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