In October, the U.S. expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from their embassy in Washington, D.C. after the U.S. was forced to bring non-essential personnel back from its Havana embassy because a series of sonic attacks had some State Department employees experiencing mysterious symptoms like nausea and brain damage. Since the incidents at the embassy were first reported until they stopped last August, the Cuban government has denied any involvement, even going so far as allowing the FBI onto the island to investigate. A similar incident at the U.S. embassy in Uzbekistan has raised the possibility that Russia may have been involved in the attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba.
In September, a USAID officer at the American embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan as well as his wife reported at least one acoustic attack that was similar to the ones described by the affected workers at the embassy in Havana. While the State Department declined to officially comment on the matter, a source told CBS that the officer and his wife experienced similar symptoms to the ones experienced by the diplomats in Cuba and were flown out of Uzbekistan for further observation and treatment.
U.S. security forces are concerned that Russia was involved in both cases as the country is known to be attempting to exert more influence all over:
“The Russians have been rebuilding their relationship — it deteriorated dramatically after the end of the Cold War,” according to William Leogrande, a foreign policy professor at American University who focuses on Cuba. Now, “They have a strong presence in Cuba and an historic relationship with Cuban intelligence that might give them the kind of freedom to operate that would provide an opportunity.”
In August, Russia’s Foreign Ministry called the idea that Russia was involved with the Cuba attacks “absurd” and vowed to help the Cuban side investigate if necessary, an offer the State Department did not comment on publicly.
(Via CBS News)