United States expels Cuban diplomats after American personnel in Cuba report 'physical symptoms'

US government personnel in Havana report

BRET BAIER: State Department officials say the department is expelled two Cuban diplomats from their country's embassy here in Washington.

It was not immediately clear what had happened, with spokeswoman Heather Nauert saying there were no "definitive answers about the source or cause".

The Cuban government has assured the USA that it is investigating and will take appropriate measures, officials said.

"We will not confirm the health status of any Americans whether they're in Cuba, back here at home or elsewhere", Nauert said.

United States diplomats in Cuba said they suffered occasional harassment for years after the restoration of limited ties with the communist government in the 1970s, harassment reciprocated by USA agents against Cuban diplomats in Washington.

Earlier on Wednesday, the U.S. State Department told reporters that the exact nature of the incidents were unclear, but Americans serving in Cuba had returned to the United States for non life-threatening "medical reasons". After months of investigation, USA officials concluded that the diplomats had been attacked with an advanced sonic weapon that operated outside the range of audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residences...

The freshly friendly relationship between the U.S. and Cuba appears to have soured after officials said that had been secretly made deaf.

The Associated Press claims that in Autumn 2016 a number of embassy staff in the Cuban capital were left with "severe hearing loss attributed to a covert sonic device".


In 2015, USA and Cuban relations took a major turn, as America reopened the doors to its embassy in Havana.

Nauert further emphasized Wednesday that "the Cuban government has a responsibility and obligation to protect our diplomats under the Geneva Convention".

"It can be quite serious", a State Department official said.

"Cuba has never, nor would it ever, allow that the Cuban territory be used for any action against accredited diplomatic agents or their families", said the statement. Several of the diplomats were recent arrivals at the embassy.

"Cuba addressed this matter with utmost seriousness and has acted with promptness and professionalim to clarify the situation", the statement read, "initiating an exhaustive, prioritized, and urgent investigation at the highest levels of the Cuban government".

Cuban officials have pledged to investigate the incidents as well and take appropriate action, the officials told the Post.

It also led to the expulsion of the Cuban diplomats from the US back in May. Some had to go to the United States for treatment and one is thought to have become permanently deaf.

President Trump announced a couple of months ago he was rolling back numerous advances with Cuba that Obama had overseen.

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