Tillerson Considering Closing Cuban Embassy Over Mysterious Sonic Attacks


The US is considering shutting down its embassy in Cuba after a wave of diplomats has gotten mysteriously sick, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday.

In 2016 President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928.

According to the AP, some of the victims felt vibrations or heard loud sounds in only parts of rooms, typically over their beds.

"We are evaluating it", Tillerson said, when asked about speculation indicating the United States might close its embassy in Cuba, after it was announced that several diplomats serving on the island suffered minor brain injuries or permanent hearing loss due to supposed sonic attacks.

He says mysterious acoustic attacks that have injured State Department employees in Cuba are prompting the review.

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Cuba has denied any responsibility for the attacks.

A handful of GOP senators have called on Tillerson to take stronger action to protect United States diplomats from acoustic attacks in Cuba.

The U.S. authorities later confirmed that at least 21 Americans suffered physical symptoms. The Americans began reporting the incidents in November 2016, and the last incident occurred on August 21, just a few weeks after the issue became public. The official wasn't authorised to discuss the matter publicly and requested anonymity.

President Raul Castro reportedly gave his personal assurance to the then-US Charge d'Affaires in Havana that Cuba was not behind the attacks.

"None of this has a reasonable explanation", said Fulton Armstrong, a former Central Intelligence Agency official who served in Havana before the U.S. re-opened an embassy there. President Donald Trump has reversed some of the changes, but left many in place. The US hasn't identified either a culprit or a device. The US hasn't ruled out that a third country or a rogue faction of Cuba's security services might be involved. With the injury toll continuing to rise, and no explanation for what Washington has called an "unprecedented incident", some U.S. lawmakers have called for the embassy to be closed down once again.