Skip to main content
Saturday, August 19, 2017

Mystery as US expels two Cuban diplomats

 Two Cuban diplomats have been asked to leave the US, Thursday, August 10, 2017. /BBC
Two Cuban diplomats have been asked to leave the US, Thursday, August 10, 2017. /BBC

Washington has expelled two Cuban diplomats after US embassy staff in Havana suffered mysterious physical symptoms, the US state department said.

It was not immediately clear what had happened, with spokeswoman Heather Nauert saying there were no "definitive answers about the source or cause".

But Nauert refused to be drawn further on what the symptoms were.

But one source told the Associated Press news agency the symptoms reported included hearing loss.

It was suggested the hearing loss could have been caused by some kind of sonic device placed outside the diplomats' homes, emitting inaudible sound waves that can cause deafness.

Staff began complaining of the strange symptoms late last year, Nauert said.

While they were not life-threatening, she revealed a number of people had been brought home to the US as a result.

Nauert said the government was taking it "very seriously, and there is an investigation currently under way".

It is understood that the two expelled Cuban diplomats left Washington DC in May, the BBC's Will Grant reports from Havana.

So far, their government has not responded to the reports.

Washington and Havana only re-established ties in 2015, following 50 years of hostilities between the two countries.

STAR COMMUNITY POLICY AND PARTICIPATION GUIDLINES
  • Thank you for participating in discussions on The Star, Kenya website. You are welcome to comment and debate issues, however take note that:
  • Comments that are abusive; defamatory; obscene; promote or incite violence, terrorism, illegal acts, hate speech, or hatred on the grounds of race, ethnicity, cultural identity, religious belief, disability, gender, identity or sexual orientation, or are otherwise objectionable in the Star’s  reasonable discretion shall not be tolerated and will be deleted.
  • Comments that contain unwarranted personal abuse will be deleted.
  • Strong personal criticism is acceptable if justified by facts and arguments.
  • Deviation from points of discussion may lead to deletion of comments.
  • Failure to adhere to this policy and guidelines may lead to blocking of offending users. Our moderator’s decision to block offending users is final.
Poll of the day