Diplomatic Relations With Cuba Deteriorating Rapidly
August 10, 2017
A new report suggests the Cuban government has been targeting U.S. diplomatic staff in such a way as to cause permanent physical injuries, prompting the Trump administration to expel two diplomats from Washington, D.C., in retaliation.
Axios followed up on an Associated Press report Wednesday night that U.S. officials stationed at the American Embassy in Havana “reported incidents which have caused a variety of physical symptoms.” 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.
The report states:
Though the investigation is still occurring, American investigators believe there’s a possibility that the Cuban government—or someone sympathetic—may have placed devices that emitted sounds outside the range of human hearing inside or around the homes of those affected.
The FBI is heading up the investigation. Cuba has been reminded of its duty under international law to ensure the safety of all diplomats in its country.
President Donald Trump, who made it clear he opposed the Obama administration’s “détente” with the Castro regime during his 2016 campaign, had already scaled back many of his predecessor’s diplomatic overtures. This new development could deteriorate the already-tenuous diplomatic relationship further.