U.S. to slash embassy staff in Cuba, warns travelers of hotel attacks

The Washington Post reports: “The reduction in diplomatic presence was made to ensure the safety of our personnel,” said one official. “We maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba, and our work in Cuba will be guided by national security and foreign policy goals of the United States.”

The State Department has acknowledged that at least 21 Americans connected to the embassy have been hurt in the attacks, the most recent of which occurred in August. No Cuban employees of the embassy have complained of any symptoms, only American diplomats.

Among the health symptoms are hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, balance problems, visual difficulties, headaches, fatigue, cognitive issues and sleeping difficulties.

Nearly 10 months after the first complaints surfaced, neither U.S. nor Cuban investigators are any closer to identifying what is causing the injuries, or who is responsible. Investigators are looking into the possibility that they were subjected to some sort of “sonic attack,” among other theories, though it is not clear why American diplomats and a handful of Canadian envoys would be the only ones to complain of symptoms.

Cuba has denied having anything to do with the injuries. Among the possibilities being explored is that agents acting on behalf of a third country may be responsible. [Continue reading…]

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