Retired ambassador to Libya to lead Cuba attacks review

Retired ambassador to Libya to lead Cuba attacks review

Jeff Flake confer as the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere examines attacks on American diplomats in Havana, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday.

The State Department officials agreed that Cuba, with its powerful surveillance state, must have either been behind the attacks itself or at least know who was.

Goldstein said the investigation remains open because "there is no doubt" there was some kind of attack.

The preliminary report issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, indicates that there is no evidence that sonic waves damaged the health US diplomats and their families. On Saturday, Arizona Republican Sen. The hearing comes after The Associated Press reported that a new Federal Bureau of Investigation report shows no evidence for the initial theory of a sonic weapon.

Several questions remained unanswered during the hearing, including when then-President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, were informed of the incidents.

"They associated the onset of these symptoms to their exposures with unusual sounds or auditory sensations. Various descriptions were given: "a high-pitched beam of sound"; an "incapacitating sound"; a "baffling sensation" akin to driving with the windows partially open in a auto; or just an intense pressure in one ear", Rosenfarb told the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere on Tuesday.

The fresh inquiry is likely to strain relations even more between Cuba and the U.S. after Trump backed away from Obama-era rapprochement efforts, the BBC reported.

The Trump administration, which has partly rolled back a detente with Cuba, sharply reduced the USA embassy staff in Havana in response to the incident.

However, Cuban doctors investigating the incident concluded that USA officials underwent a "collective psychogenic disorder" and have linked brain abnormalities to their symptoms related to hearing, vision, balance, and memory. Canada is the only other country known to have complained that its diplomats were also affected.

Washington says Cuba should be doing more to protect diplomatic personnel.

The victims - at least 24 Americans, a mix of United States embassy personnel and their dependents - suffered headaches, hearing loss, disorientation and some loss of cognitive ability. "Ten of the 24 patients have returned to either full- or part-time work, while others continue to receive treatment with an anticipation of return to duty", Rosenfarb said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in an AP interview he will not return US diplomats to Cuba for now, and he is not convinced the alleged attacks are over. "The US State Department has no evidence that allows them to claim there have been attacks against its diplomats in Havana or that Cuba could be responsible or have knowledge of third-party actions against foreign envoys", she added. "However, several State Department officials repeatedly used the word "attacks", she said.

Coronel Ramiro Ramirez, head of the Cuban security detail responsible for the protection of diplomats on the Caribbean island, previously explained that such an acoustic weapon, even if employed by a third party as USA officials have suggested, would have affected the health of other people in the general area and could not have singled out US diplomats as part of a deliberate attack.

Medical experts and FBI agents launched investigations and high-frequency recording devices were installed in diplomatic residences, allowing a mystery sound sample to be captured.

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