Canada Canadian embassy in Cuba now rated as dangerous as Iraq, Afghanistan as mystery over unexplained symptoms continues

06:01  17 april  2018
06:01  17 april  2018 Source:   Global News

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State Dept: At Least 16 Americans Affected in Cuba Embassy 'Health Attack'. 01:48. "They continue to undergo tests," said Nauert, who has Complicating the question of why the American diplomats were targeted is the fact that some Canadian embassy staff reported similar symptoms .

Advertisement. Continue reading the main story. A closing of the embassy , were it to occur, would be less a political statement than one of concern over the risks that That a Canadian diplomat was also affected deepened the mystery . Relations between Canada and Cuba have long been warm.

A wave of mysterious ailments have struck diplomats in Cuba, officials in Ottawa say.© AP Photo/Desmond Boylan, File A wave of mysterious ailments have struck diplomats in Cuba, officials in Ottawa say.

The Canadian embassy in Cuba is now considered as dangerous as the missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon, and officials are clawing back rules that let diplomats posted there bring their family with them as the mysterious case of unexplained symptoms experienced by staff there gets even more bizarre.

Global Affairs Canada announced the changes on Monday after a nearly year-long investigation into a mysterious illness that has stricken 10 diplomats and their family members who were posted in Havana between April 2017 and January 2018.

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US citizens touring in Cuba have complained about health symptoms similar to embassy workers over The warning urged Americans to stay away from Cuba because of unexplained health 'attacks' it says Tobey Maguire and mystery woman in a crop top emerge from workout at Los Angeles gym

Now Cuba – in spite of a non-stop economic war waged on it by the US – has one of the highest literacy rate in the world and sends it doctors to help in disasters around the world, over 700 to help after US "Evaluating Shuttering Cuba Embassy " After Unexplained Sonic Attacks, Tillerson Says.

A senior government official, who briefed reporters on the situation, said the concussion-like symptoms reported over the past year by workers there continue to persist among the 10 people which include a number of minors.

“This is very worrying,” the official told reporters in the announcement that the government was changing the danger designation of the embassy in Cuba and listing it as a so-called “unaccompanied” posting.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government continues to say there is no reason to limit travel to Cuba as no Canadian tourists have presented symptoms.

Two diplomats and their families have returned home from Havana earlier than scheduled and service on the ground could be affected as the next in line are being given the option to re-evaluate their posting.

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The U.S. has confirmed at least 16 Americans associated with its embassy in Havana suffered negative health symptoms from mysterious attacks in Cuba , but the Canadian government still won’t say how many of its diplomatic staff have been impacted. Story continues below.

What Canadians and Americans heard in Cuba 'sound attacks'. U.S. gives Cuba a week to withdraw 15 diplomats. U.S. pulling embassy staff from Cuba , advises against So the next morning Allen rushed to the airport and took the first available flight off the island. Trip ends, symptoms continue .

“The embassy in Cuba remains opened but some services could be delayed in the coming weeks as we manage the transition,” said the official.

Canadian authorities have been working with their Cuban counterparts to try and get to the bottom of the mysterious illness which has also stricken a number of American diplomats who were also serving in Havana.

In a briefing last January, officials were floating the idea of a sonic attack but are now saying it’s “very improbable.”

So what else could it be?

Canadian officials simply don’t know.

In total, 27 Canadian diplomats and their dependents were tested in the last 12 months after several of them presented unusual symptoms including headaches, nosebleeds, loss of hearing, loss of balance, and short-term memory loss.

“The trajectory of health symptoms is uncertain so, it’s been challenging on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis to know exactly what the cohort is,” the official told reporters.

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In this Aug. 14, 2015, file photo, a U.S. flag flies at the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba . Audiologists for example have raised doubt over the possibility of whether any sonic weapon exists that can be used covertly to bring about the range of symptoms mentioned by diplomats.

A view of the Canadian Embassy in Havana, Cuba . Cuba mystery : U.S. doctors find brain abnormalities in victims. "The government of Canada continues to work closely with Cuban authorities to ascertain the cause of these unusual symptoms ."

The RCMP has been examining a possible criminal investigation while Health Canada was going down the medical route and at this point, officials say the medical investigation is yielding more results.

However, when pressed on that point, the government officials would only point reporters to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

That study was posted in February and looked at the symptoms experienced by the American diplomats posted in Havana. According to the study, there are now concerns being raised about a new type of acquired brain injury.

Researchers found a number of those affected heard a “novel localized sound at the onset of symptoms in their homes of hotel rooms,” and many described it as “intensely loud, and with a pure and sustained tonality.”

READ MORE:

Eight Canadians sickened in mysterious Cuba incidents, RCMP leading investigation

Officials from the United States, Cuba and Canada have been working together to find the source of that sound but have come up empty.

The JAMA study concludes: “These individuals appeared to have sustained injury to widespread brain networks without an associated history of head trauma.”

Canadian officials say the cause remains unknown but say could be “human-made,” still, they seem baffled by the whole thing.

“We’ve been at this a year, the U.S. has been at it for longer than that with all of the resources that they have and they are no closer than we are to try to determine what is happening and why it might be,” the Canadian officials told reporters.

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