Since first reported in August 2017, the U.S. government has taken what appears to be a patient approach to assigning blame and responsibility for the mysterious attacks that targeted U.S. embassy staff in Havana over the last year or so.
It hard to believe that the Cuban government would have resorted to armed propaganda by attacking U.S. embassy staff in Havana. But in a society that is considered one of the most surveilled in the world, it is equally hard to believe that the perpetrators of the heinous acts could escape detection.
No tourists have been reported injured in what the U.S. state department is calling “incidents.”
In an escalation that appears to be the final measure of U.S. patience, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. is considering closing its embassy in Cuba following a number of “health attacks” on American diplomats there.
“We have it under evaluation and it is a very serious issue with respect to the harm some individuals have suffered,” Tillerson said on the CBS show “Face the Nation.”
At least 21 Americans have suffered in the incidents that have lead to a variety of symptoms, including hearing loss, concussions, headaches, ear-ringing, and even problems with concentration and common word recall. U.S. officials first confirmed the incidents, which began in late 2016, in August 2017.
Lawmakers in Washington have also raised alarm. On Friday, five Republican senators wrote Tillerson to call for both closing the Havana embassy and expelling all Cuban diplomats from the U.S.
Former President Barack Obama re-established ties with the Caribbean island nation two years ago, a move that has been criticized and threatened by his successor Donald Trump.
Reports indicate that Americans and Canadians working in Cuba have been diagnosed with similar symptoms, and investigative teams from each country have yet to explain the motive for the attacks or the technology used.