Another health attack on diplomats in Cuba last month

Health attacks on US diplomats in Cuba continued in August

Cuban authorities have previously denied any responsibility, insisting they would never allow "the Cuban territory be used for any action against accredited diplomatic agents or their families".

In response to the attacks, the USA expelled two Cuban diplomats from the country's embassy in Washington in May.

USA officials who worked in Havana said the petty harassment had slacked off in recent years, even before President Barack Obama announced in 2014 that he would reestablish full diplomatic ties with Cuba after decades of estrangement.

The reports emerged only two years after the USA embassy in Havana re-opened, as part of improved diplomatic relations between the two states under Barack Obama.

A suspected acoustic attack on U.S. embassy staff in Cuba was reported as recently as last month, U.S. officials have revealed.

"What has happened there is of great concern to the US government", Nauert has said, defending the U.S.'s response.

At least one Canadian diplomat is also said to have been affected.

It is unclear if the Canadian victim was intentionally targeted, or was collateral damage from an attack aimed at Americans.

Canadian officials have been actively working with USA and Cuban authorities to ascertain the cause.

Intense surveillance of USA diplomats in Cuba is routine, and low-level harassment such as the vandalization of homes and cars used to be common.

AFSA's statement is the first indication that, at least for some, the hearing loss is likely to be permanent.

The confirmation that at least some diplomats suffered brain injury suggested the attacks caused more serious damage than the hearing-related complaints that were initially reported.

"We can't rule out new cases as medical professionals continue to evaluate members of the embassy community", warned Nauert, who has described the situation as "unprecedented". She added that the embassy has a medical officer and has been consistently providing care to those who have reported incidents.

TBI typically results from a bump, jolt or other external force that disrupts normal brain functioning, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some of the affected Americans are still experiencing symptoms "because the symptoms are experienced at different times, because the symptoms are different in various people", according to a State Department official. Short- and long-term effects can include changes to memory and reasoning, sight and balance, language abilities and emotions.

The association says the US must do "everything possible" to care for victims and ensure it doesn't happen again.



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