Canadian diplomat in Cuba also suffered 'unusual symptoms'

US and Cuba have long history of undiplomatic relations

US and Cuba have long history of undiplomatic relations

United States and Canadian officials are conducting investigations after diplomats posted to Havana fell ill, amid reports that they may have been targeted by a mysterious sonic weapon.

One of the worst-performing developing-country funds today is the Herzfeld Caribben Basin Fund (CUBA) after USA and Canadian officials confirmed they are investigating "bizarre incidents" and health symptoms experienced in late 2016 among diplomats who were stationed in the country. A USA state department spokeswoman would not give details on the nature of the injuries or how many people were affected, but confirmed that a number of U.S. diplomats had returned home for treatment.At least two staff are said to be suffering serious health problems as a result of the alleged "sonic attack".

According to the Associated Press, the diplomats' hearing loss could have been linked to a sound-deafening attack emitted by some kind of sonic device meant for eavesdropping. Two of them were sent back to the U.S. for treatment.

A months-long investigation by the USA concluded that diplomats had been exposed "to an advanced device that operated outside the audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residences".

The US embassy employees suffered symptoms resembling concussions and have since then traveled to the US for treatment.

Cuba's foreign ministry said U.S. officials had alerted it to "some alleged incidents affecting some officials of that diplomatic mission and their families" on February 17. USA officials took pains to say tourists were not impacted; the Cuban Foreign Ministry said it was informed February 17 and launched an investigation.

Several American diplomats who had been stationed in Cuba were forced to cut their tours of duty short and return home previous year after suddenly and inexplicably losing their hearing.

The Cuban government said it "has never permitted, nor will permit, that Cuban territory be used for any action against accredited diplomatic officials or their families, with no exception". It was not immediately clear if the device was a weapon used in a deliberate attack, or had some other objective.

An ongoing investigation has resulted in the apparent expulsion of two Cuban diplomats from their embassy in Washington DC back in May of this year.

The US embassy in Havana reopened in 2015 as part of President Barack Obama's re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

USA officials told The Associated Press that about five diplomats, several with spouses, had been affected and that no children had been involved. They always appeared suddenly, not gradually, and only took place inside Cuban government-owned properties - normally the residences of the diplomats themselves.

However, officials familiar with the probe said investigators were looking into the possibilities that the incidents were carried out by a third country such as Russian Federation, possibly operating without the knowledge of Cuba's formal chain of command.

If true, the use of sonic devices to harm diplomats would be unprecedented.

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