Cuba Acoustic Attack: US Diplomats Suffer Hearing Loss

A member of the Cuban honor guard stands next to a new plaque at the front door of the newly reopened Cuban embassy in Washington. The State Department has expelled two diplomats from Cuba's Embassy in Washington after a series of unexplained incidents

The US has announced that it expelled two Cuban diplomats in May after Americans working at the US Embassy in Havana suffered "unexplained physical ailments".

She characterized the incidents as non-life threatening, however, there is an FBI and Diplomatic Security Service investigation into what occurred over the past few months.

Officials said beginning last fall, American diplomats in Havana suffered from severe hearing loss, which they believe could be attributed to a covert sonic device.

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

According to the Canadian national broadcaster, the government is working with Cuban authorities to determine what happened.

Multiple State Department employees returned home from the United States embassy in Cuba late past year after suffering a variety of physical symptoms, the State Department said a news briefing Wednesday. The AP also reported that investigators are trying to determine if the Cuban government used sonic devices that create non-audible noise to try to deafen the Americans.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio said the alleged incidents were just the latest examples of harassment toward U.S. diplomats in Cuba.

According to the Associated Press, five diplomats were affected and CNN's sources claim that at least one will have to wear a hearing aid.

The US embassy in Havana only opened in 2015 as part of former President Obama's rapprochement with Cuba.

As a result, the United States on May 23 asked two Cuban officials in Washington to leave the country and they have done so, Nauert said.

Nauert confirmed the report Wednesday during a briefing. Officials cautioned the AP that Cuba may have been unaware the attacks were happening, and that a third country like Russian Federation may have been responsible. "Under the Vienna Convention, Cuba has an obligation to take measures to protect diplomats". We're taking that situation seriously and it's under investigation right now.

The Cuban Foreign Relations Ministry (MINREX) responded to the incident in a statement published in Granma, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).

"Personal harm to USA officials shows the extent the Castro regime will go and clearly violates global norms".

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

Earlier in the day, the U.S. Department of State made a vague statement insinuating foul play by the government of Cuba.

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