Canadian diplomat in Cuba among those who suffered hearing loss

Canadian diplomat in Cuba among those who suffered hearing loss

SHAPIRO: And the Canadian government said today that at least one of its diplomats in Havana has been treated for hearing loss as well.

Those affected were State Department employees, Nauert said, and no American civilians were affected.

The Cuban Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday it had started an "exhaustive" investigation into the weird incidents which the United States said had caused physical symptoms in its diplomats serving here.

It said Cuba would launch a "comprehensive, priority and urgent investigation".

In a statement issued Wednesday, Cuba strenuously denied playing any role in any attacks against foreign officials.

On Thursday, a spokeswoman for Canada's foreign ministry, Brianne Maxwell, confirmed that some Canadian officials in Cuba had also been affected. Cuban ambassador to Russia Emilio Lozada Garcia also met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov Wednesday.

"This kind of technology would be so resource intensive that it doesn't make a lot of sense for the Cubans to develop it by themselves", Houghton said.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert remained tight-lipped about details of the incidents in Cuba that led to the departure of several US diplomats from Cuba and their subsequent treatment for hearing loss. "That is why we are being very careful here with what we say". I mean, we thought these sort of incidents had ended. "We don't have any definitive answers about the source or the cause of what we consider to be incidents", Nauert said. They want a better picture of the scope of the incident, how many people got sick, what symptoms they had and what evidence exists about another country's involvement and if this was intentional or not. "This is an active investigation, and that investigation is ongoing at this time". These "sound lasers" have also been used controversially by authorities in the USA and Israel to disperse protesters and other unruly crowds. "We can't blame any one country".

Relations with the country have become a significant issue in U.S. politics, he explained, thanks in part to the population of Cuban exiles in Florida, a battleground state in USA elections. She said the United States has had multiple conversations with the Cuban government, but that the reason the two Cuban diplomats were expelled was because the government shouldn't have allowed the Americans to get sick. The FBI and Diplomatic Security Service are investigating. "They are not safe, they are not secure because something happened to them".

Nauert said the United States expelled two Cuban diplomats in retaliation on May 23, saying while the US didn't have a definitive explanation for the incidents, "the Cuban government has a responsibility and an obligation under the Geneva Convention to protect our diplomats".

Some members of Congress, she said, have been informed but could not say exactly which lawmakers.

"How can it have a similar impact on so many people if it wasn't intentional", a congressional aide said. "What I can tell you is these were us government personnel who were in Cuba in Havana on official duty".


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