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Closing the U.S. Embassy in Cuba

Eva Ricci, Chief Editor

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Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, announced Sunday that the United States is now considering closing the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. This announcement comes after a report that 21 U.S. citizens at the embassy have been severely impacted by a mysterious illness.

Reopened in 2015, the embassy was a sign of furthering positive relations between the United States and Cuba. Closing the embassy would set back the progress made, but Tillerson further states:  “We have it under evaluation… It’s a very serious issue with respect to the harm that certain individuals have suffered. We’ve brought some of those people home. It’s under review” (Courtesy of Bloomberg Politics).

It has been reported that the 21 individuals are suffering a potential “sonic” attack. This means that through non-audible sound to human ears, damage to the brain can be inflicted using extremely high or low frequency sounds. Victims symptoms include; having hearing loss, concussions, ear ringing, headaches, nausea, and loss of the ability to remember common words. Victims range from executive diplomatic roles to maintenance staff.

According to NBC, “Few details have been released, but the Associated Press, quoting officials, reported that some embassy employees reported they experienced bizarre, unexplained and physically uncomfortable noises or vibrations at their residences before they were afflicted”.

Further, CBS reports that “Diplomats have told investigators that during some attacks, they heard excruciatingly loud noises — like something from an insect, but that they believed other attacks — often at night — were silent”.

The attacks appear to have been done deliberately to Americans, although one Canadian diplomat from the Canadian embassy also reported to be suffering from the same symptoms as the Americans in Cuba.

It has not yet been determined how the attacks were carried out or who has done them. The Cuban government has denied involvement in the injuries. The New York Times claims, “The Cubans even offered to let the F.B.I. go to Havana and investigate, a rare level of openness that suggested to some American officials that the Cuban government was equally baffled about the cause”.  Despite this, the US is not ruling anything out and is even investigating possible involvement from a third party country.

A motive is unknown, but for diplomats that resided in a Havana hotel, no other guests reported any strange vibrations or noises.

The US has sent many of the Americans home  from the embassy and whether the State department will close it down is yet to be known.

 

Sources:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-17/urgent-top-diplomat-says-closing-us-embassy-in-cuba-under-review

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/top-u-s-security-official-targeted-in-cuba-embassy-health-attacks/

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/cuba-embassy-attacks-baffle-u-s-frustrate-victim-n802326

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2017/09/18/scientists-still-baffled-by-mysterious-sonic-weapon-attack-on-us-embassy-in-cuba.html

www.cu.usembassy.gov

www.nytimes.com/2017/09/17/us/politics/tillerson-cuba-embassy.html?mcubz=3

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Closing the U.S. Embassy in Cuba