Secy Tillerson to Investigate Health Attacks on Diplomats in Cuba

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Officials say the diplomats have been treated for concussion-like symptoms.

Jeff Flake of Arizona, a Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, said the U.S. had found no evidence of an attack on its diplomats in Cuba, according to the Associated Press.

Diplomats have been treated for concussion-like symptoms, including hearing loss, dizziness, balance problems, visual complaints, headaches, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping, U.S. officials said.

Rubio and State Department officials also addressed an Associated Press report that a new non-public Federal Bureau of Investigation report produced no evidence to back the initial USA government theory that a sonic device caused the symptoms.

An FBI investigation has not determined what caused the illnesses.

"We believe that the Cuban government knows what occurred", he said.

Questions about whether Russian Federation was somehow responsible for the attacks were deferred by State Department officials to the future classified hearing.

US Expels 15 Diplomats Following Havana Attacks
US Expels 15 Diplomats Following Havana Attacks

Throughout the hearing, the officials described the incidents involving American government workers in Cuba as "health attacks".

Rubio criticized the State Department as being too slow to take the attacks seriously and for inadequate protection for diplomats today.

"In late 2016, some members of our diplomatic community serving at U.S. Embassy Havana complained about hearing odd noises and a variety of unexplained physical symptoms".

Flake said that classified briefings from USA officials have left him with no reason to doubt the Cuban account, although he declined to discuss the contents of those briefings.

On Monday, a State Department spokesperson told CNN that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has decided whether to form an Accountability Review Board to look into the security incidents and would announce that decision shortly, pending congressional notification. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) defended the regime against blame.

His final tweet reads: It is impossible to conduct 24 separate & sophisticated attacks on U.S. Govt personnel in Havana without #CastroRegime knowing about it.

While symptoms the diplomats and their family members experienced varied, Rubio also reported that in all 24 medically confirmed cases, victims have described some combination of the following: "sharp ear pain, boring headaches, ringing in one ear, vertigo, visual focusing issues, disorientation, nausea, and extreme fatigue".

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Lawmakers also asked whether rogue elements of the Cuban government or security services or a third party such as Russian Federation might have been involved.

A U.S. official told Reuters the government will not send staff back to the U.S. Embassy in Havana yet.

In August, reports emerged that up to 24 U.S. government employees at U.S. Embassy in Havana were afflicted by unexplained incidents that were later characterized as 'sonic attacks.' Though the State Department has never accused the Cuban government of perpetrating the alleged attacks, U.S. President Donald Trump has and other U.S. leaders have indicated that Cuban officials have information concerning the claims.

"The method that was used to attack them is not yet clear".

"The first victim of today's hearing was the truth", she told a news conference in Havana, adding that Cuba rejected the USA politicization of the matter.

"What we've said to the Cubans is [it's] a small island, you got a sophisticated security apparatus, you probably know who's doing it, you can stop it", Tillerson said in December. -Cuban relations that were restored under President Barack Obama.

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