Cuba attacks caused mild brain injury

U.S. Marines raise the U.S. flag at the U.S. embassy in Havana Cuba on Aug. 14 2015.         
                                     Reuters

The American Foreign Service Association has met or spoken with 10 victims, as some of the others were unavailable or remained at their posts in Havana.

U.S. state d epartment spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the USA was continually revising its assessments of the scope of the attacks as new information was obtained, and that the investigation had not been completed.

US officials have said the Americans were harmed by an unknown sonic device or attack that damaged their hearing and caused other health problems.

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) union now says staff had suffered "mild traumatic brain injury", permanent hearing loss, brain swelling, severe headaches, concussion, loss of balance and "cognitive disruption" as a result of what they described as "sonic harassment attacks".

"We can confirm another incident which occurred last month and is now part of the investigation".

The US state department had previously said at least 16 US embassy employees were affected - but that has now increased to at least 19 Americans.

On Friday, the USA government confirmed that an incident took place as recently as August and that the number of staff reporting problems had increased. The injuries occurred while the Americans were serving at the U.S. Embassy in Havana and living in housing provided by the Cuban government.


A Canadian government official said it first learned in March that one of its citizens was affected.

Mysterious health incidents at the U.S. Embassy in Havana happened as recently as August, even as the State Department said last week that the attacks had ceased, The Associated Press reported Friday.

"We're not assigning responsibility at this point".

█ We can confirm another incident which occurred last month and is now part of the investigation. The Cuban government has vehemently denied any involvement in the incidents, and is conducting its own investigation into the matter.

A USA union says some staff based at the U.S. embassy in Cuba suffered permanent hearing loss as a result of mysterious "sonic incidents" in Havana.

All are being investigated by the State Department which fears it may discover more yet. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later confirmed that hearing damage was among the effects. Sound waves above and below the range of human hearing can cause permanent damage. But reports of diplomats being physically harmed were rare.

Diplomatic links between the two countries were only restored in 2015, but relations have been put under strain after the US President Donald Trump tightened travel restrictions and trade embargoes.

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