The U.S. and Cuba reopened diplomatic relations two years ago, but with tensions with Russia and a potential war in Korea looming, it looks like Cuba has joined the Cold War reenactment that is geopolitics in 2017.
According to the AP, several U.S. diplomats were targeted for surveillance in Cuba and subjected to devices that caused severe hearing loss. The first incident occurred in the fall of 2016 and lead to some diplomats canceling their tours early in order to return to the U.S.:
After months of investigation, U.S. officials concluded that the diplomats had been exposed to an advanced device that operated outside the range of audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residences. It was not immediately clear if the device was a weapon used in a deliberate attack, or had some other purpose.
In retaliation, the U.S. expelled two Cuban diplomats from their embassy in Washington. However, Cuba is denying any involvement.
The Cuban government said in a lengthy statement late Wednesday that “Cuba has never permitted, nor will permit, that Cuban territory be used for any action against accredited diplomatic officials or their families, with no exception.”
The statement from the Cuban Foreign Ministry said it had been informed of the incidents on Feb. 17 and had launched an “exhaustive, high-priority, urgent investigation at the behest of the highest level of the Cuban government.”
Both Cuba (which condemned the ejection of their diplomats) and the U.S. are conducting separate investigations of the incidents. While the diplomats’ residences were owned and operated by the Cuban government, and Cuba’s state security is known to monitor diplomats very closely, the investigators have not ruled out that a third party (Russia) might have been responsible and acting outside of Cuba’s knowledge. However, U.S. diplomats reported harassment from the Cuban government after limited relations were restored in the 1970s.
(Via Associated Press)