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News > Latin America

Cuba Slams US Hearings on Alleged 'Acoustic Attacks'

  • A man works outside of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba.

    A man works outside of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 January 2018

“The true purpose of this hearing was not to establish the truth," said top-ranking Cuban official, Josefina Vidal.

Josefina Vidal, Cuba's general director of Cuba's Foreign Ministry, Minrex, U.S. division has condemned the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the alleged acoustic attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba.

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“From its very title ‘Attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba,’ it was evident that the true purpose of this hearing, to which three high-ranking officials of the State Department were called, was not to establish the truth, but to impose by force and without any evidence an accusation that they have not been able to prove,” said Vidal.

“We reject the politicization of this matter," she said, added that the "unjustified measures that the government of the United States has adopted (come) with a high cost for our population, Cuba emigration and the American people.”

She pointed out that the very premise of the hearing, organized by Republican Senator Marco Rubio and his Democratic colleague Robert Menendez, both descendants of Cuban immigrants, was based on a lack of scruples and credibility on the part of the two lawmakers.

Vidal recalled that both senators are renowned for their political agenda aimed at stirring confrontation between the two countries and obscuring the truth.

"Cuba has never perpetrated, nor allowed, third parties to act against the physical integrity of any foreign service representative, without exception." She reminded that the U.S. State Department “does not have any evidence that allows it to affirm that there were attacks perpetrated against its diplomats in Havana or that Cuba could be held responsible or were aware of those actions."

Likewise, Vidal reiterated that the Cuban authorities are not responsible for the health effects alleged by U.S. diplomats who were based in Cuba. She also rejected the politicization of the issue, as well as the unjustified measures adopted by the White House.

The preliminary report issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, indicates that there is no evidence that sonic waves damaged the health U.S. diplomats and their families.

Coronel Ramiro Ramirez, head of the Cuban security detail responsible for the protection of diplomats on the Caribbean island, previously explained that such an acoustic weapon, even if employed by a third party as U.S. officials have suggested, would have affected the health of other people in the general area and could not have singled out U.S. diplomats as part of a deliberate attack. Ramirez added that the sound would have surely attracted public attention.

Mark Hallett, head of the human motor control section of the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, suggested that the ailments experienced by some U.S. diplomats were related to “mass hysteria” prompted by the media, not sonic attacks. However, Cuban doctors investigating the incident concluded that U.S. officials underwent a "collective psychogenic disorder" and have linked brain abnormalities to their symptoms related to hearing, vision, balance, and memory.

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