The State Department revealed a fresh diplomatic dispute between the US and Cuba Wednesday when it acknowledged that it believes American diplomats serving in Cuba were subject to an "acoustic attack" in fall 2016 using a covert sonic weapon that left the Americans with severe hearing loss.
Cuban and USA authorities have confirmed investigations are underway amid reports that a number of U.S. diplomats suffered serious hearing loss while stationed in Havana. Although American diplomats operating in Cuba are often subject to surveillance and harassment, they have not been physically harmed before.
It also said it had objected to the expulsion of its officials, while also urging the usa to work together to shed light on the incidents. "The AP says Cuba may have placed sonic devices that produce non-audible sound inside or outside the residences of several embassy staffers with the intent of deafening them", he reported.
Additional U.S. action could follow if the investigation points to the Cuban government being culpable for what happened to the U.S. employees, officials said.
But it appears that things between the USA and Cuba are no place near friendly now. We're taking that situation seriously and it's under investigation right now. "And, as result of that, we have asked two Cubans to leave the United States and they have".
Two diplomats were expelled Wednesday from the Cuban embassy after several US envoys in Havana experiences unexplained symptoms and illnesses one official said includes potentially permanent hearing loss.
The embassy in Washington where the Cuban diplomats worked before they were expelled.More news: EPS faction says, appointment of Dhinakaran violates party rules
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According to Havana, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs was notified by Washington on February 17, after which the island's government promptly responded speedily and professionally, launching a "thorough, priority and urgent investigation by indication of the highest level of the Cuban government" while proposing the establishment of a cooperation mechanism between the two countries.
"We don't have any definitive information about the source or the cause", she said.
The fiasco has rocked an already delicate diplomatic relationship between Cuba and the USA, with diplomatic relations between the two countries only being restored in 2015 after a half century of hostilities. The diplomats were living in housing owned by the Cuban government, which is a common practice internationally, but recently began experiencing "mysterious symptoms" that reportedly include permanent hearing loss.
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 Cuban government has a responsibility and an obligation under the Geneva Convention to protect our diplomats", Nauert said. All of facets of the Cuban embargo that had been loosened by Barack Obama, including a ban on tourism, would continue to be enforced, he said.