Save Austin Fair Yudala banner
Mysterious illnesses hit US diplomats in Cuba

By News Express on 30/09/2017

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon

Views: 354

•U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
•U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

The US State Department has ordered more than half its Embassy staff and all diplomatic family members to leave Cuba because of a mysterious “specific attacks” that have caused myriad health problems to 21 diplomats.

Only those who carry out the main U.S. diplomatic and consular duties, including providing emergency assistance to American travelers in Cuba, will stay at the embassy in Havana, officials said.

The State Department issued an advisory for Americans not to visit Cuba, although no tourists or other travelers have been affected by the still-unexplained attacks, which some outside experts suspect came from an acoustic device.

The embassy, an iconic building on Havana’s waterfront, also will suspend processing U.S. visa applications.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he had decided to trim staff and warn Americans in response to what he called “attacks of an unknown nature.” He emphasised that the moves were intended to ensure the health and safety of embassy personnel, not to punish Cuba.

“Until the Government of Cuba can ensure the safety of our diplomats in Cuba, our Embassy will be reduced to emergency personnel in order to minimise the number of diplomats at risk of exposure to harm,” Tillerson said.

Still, the dramatic moves were a blow to Washington’s delicate relations with Havana, which were restored in 2015, more than half a century after they were broken in the Cold War.

Over the last two years, U.S. airlines have begun direct flights to Cuba, tourism has surged and numerous travel and commerce restrictions were lifted. President Trump has reversed some changes but has broadly left the rapprochement in place.

Tillerson issued the statement in Beijing, where he is meeting Chinese officials to discuss efforts to restrain North Korea and to help set up Trump’s visit in November.

Aides said he made the decision on the flight from Washington, after considering options that included temporarily closing the embassy.

In all, 21 U.S. diplomats in Cuba have exhibited a wide range of physical symptoms, including ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping. Several Canadian diplomats also have reported unusual physical ailments.

“Investigators have been unable to determine who is responsible or what is causing these attacks,” Tillerson said. Moreover, he said, the State Department “is unable to recommend a means to mitigate exposure.”

U.S. officials said the attacks occurred in the diplomats’ residences and in local hotels they frequent. The attacks began in mid-2016, and the most recent was in August.

The government mostly has referred to “incidents” rather than attacks in the past. But officials said Friday the U.S. now believes “specific attacks” targeted the diplomats in Cuba.

Tillerson emphasised that the U.S. is not breaking diplomatic relations with Cuba, noting that Havana “has told us it will continue to investigate these attacks and we will continue to cooperate with them in this effort.”

“We maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba, and our work in Cuba continues to be guided by the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States,” he said.

Cuba has allowed FBI agents in to help investigate the rash of health problems. And the Trump administration has stopped short of blaming Cuba for the attacks, leaving open the possibility that another country or group is responsible.

Experts have theorised that the attacks have been carried out by a machine that sends high-powered sound waves at a person, vibrating brain tissue and parts of the ear.

Russian intelligence agents have been known to use audio weapons, but the U.S. has not definitively determined who is responsible for the attacks in Cuba.

Investigators have struggled to unravel the mystery. FBI agents and other agencies have found devices in or near the homes and hotels that were affected. The wide range of symptoms, and questions of how and when people were impacted, have yet to yield clear clues.

Some diplomats reported hearing loud noises or feeling vibrations when the incidents occurred, but others heard and felt nothing yet reported symptoms later. In some cases, the effects were narrowly confined, with victims able to walk “in” and “out” of blaring noises audible in only certain rooms or parts of rooms, the AP has reported.

In a telephone briefing, a State Department official said the decision was aimed at reducing “the number of Americans who are vulnerable to exposure” from possible attacks.

“At this moment, we don’t have definitive information about the source or cause of the attacks,” said the official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity. (LA Times/NAN)

Source News Express

Posted 30/09/2017 3:46:29 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

 

You may also like...
Global economy forecast for strong growth in 2018...

Firebrand President urges people to kill drug addicts...

Shakeup imminent in Lagos crime-fighting squads

Breaking: African firms fail to make world’s 100...

National Park Service calls for upgrade of game,...

Working Moms, others partner to save African languages...

The Ikpeazu Brand; His word as his bond,...

Nigerian food festival begins in S/Africa

Zamfara Gov. loses Chief of Staff

Tony Momoh writes book on Nigeria, predicts country’s...

Obiano moves to solve Anambra’s electricity problem, signs...

Ebonyi pays N87.1m counterpart fund to boost rice...

 

Latest News Nigerian professionals unfold plans to create one million jobs Investigation: How Chinese firm is degrading Abia community, officials sexually exploiting female workers Probe reveals N30b oil revenue ‘hidden’ by NNPC Bankers Committee to create 100,000 jobs by first quarter of 2018 Rate of poverty in Alabama (USA) shocking — UN official Ekweremadu, PDP behind Nigeria’s debt profile — VON DG Ijaw, monarch, Edo at war over Okomu land ownership Osun Govt. seeks vacation of court order stopping federal allocation to LGs Oil prices drop on increased US drilling activity Sponsors, investors queue up for One Lagos Fiesta PDP’s umbrella without the South-West will suffer punctures 500 NYSC members get loans to set up businesses

 

Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (300,545 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (285,146 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (230,149 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (193,100 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (183,182 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (169,857 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (147,029 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (132,246 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (130,434 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (118,909 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (115,381 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (111,849 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (33) Business (2,813) Business Verdict (27) Columnists (776) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (193) Entertainment (419) Features (522) Global Business Monitor (192) International (1,685) Interviews (138) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (92) News (30,928) Opinion (844) Pidgin (9) Politics (4,206) Religion (653) Sports (1,379) Stock Watch (25) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN Banner advert

CBN Words on marble

 

 

MOBO Awards

 

APO Group Partner

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement



 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!