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News > Cuba

Cuban Scientists Reject New Theory on US Staff Health Incidents

  • Flag-raising ceremony at the U.S Embassy in Havana, Cuba Aug. 14, 2015.

    Flag-raising ceremony at the U.S Embassy in Havana, Cuba Aug. 14, 2015. | Photo: Twitter/ @caribbeannewsuk

Published 16 December 2020

"The ailments reported by diplomats and their families should be considered and treated as a health problem, not a political issue," scientist Luis Velazquez said.

Cuba's Academy of Sciences (ACA) refuted a report from the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) which related high-powered microwaves to the alleged health incidents suffered by U.S. diplomats and their families in Havana in 2017.


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The ACA disagreed with the NASEM's conclusions that established a pulsed and directed radiofrequency energy as the "most plausible mechanism" to explain the alleged health incidents.

"The report does not provide scientific evidence of the existence of high-intensity radiofrequency waves in the area where the diplomats were located," ACA President Luis Velazquez Perez said. 

"This assertion is not supported by direct evidence, nor by a critical review of the available literature, nor by the main body of the report itself, and it also exhibits intrinsic contradictions."

NASEM's findings referred mainly to health conditions reported by U.S. personnel posted in Cuba and in China. U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) identified persistent postural-perceptive dizziness in approximately one-quarter of the diplomats they examined. 

After receiving the first notifications from the U.S. Embassy, the Cuban authorities created an inter-institutional committee for the analysis of the facts and reinforced the protection and security measures to the embassy's premises and diplomatic residences.

Despite the calls to not politize the issue, the U.S. State Department announced the withdraw of more than half of its Havana staff in Sep. 2017.

In several meetings, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez reiterated that "the Cuban government has not and will not perpetrate attacks of any nature against diplomats. Neither has it allowed nor will it allow its territory to be used by third parties for this purpose."

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