Senator Marco Rubio has accused the Castro government of Cuba of being behind a string of mysterious attacks on American diplomats last year on a mission in Havana, Cuba.
“There is no way you can do that in Cuba and the Cuban government not know about it,” Rubio had said at an event. “This wasn’t conducted in some remote area—this was in Havana, in hotels, and in areas of Havana where Americans are known to be.”
The Foreign minister of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez, had denied all such allegations earlier this month and said that there was no involvement of the Castro regime in these attacks. He called these accusations as ‘deliberate lies’ which were being told to create a misunderstanding about the diplomatic relations of two countries, which are enemies from Cold War.
The FBI and the Cuban government, have been conducting separate investigations to determine exactly who caused the mysterious and unfortunate events that had resulted in 24 U.S. diplomats suffering health problems. Neither of these investigations returned with a solid explanation to identify a perpetrator. U.S. investigators are also exploring more of the possibility that a third country, namely Russia, had helped to carry out these attacks.
The State Department further believes that the diplomats were targeted either in their own homes, which are inside the Cuban government compounds or in the government-owned hotels. American personnel also complained of a sudden feeling of nausea, dizziness, and headaches that are usually accompanied by piercing, and high-pitched noises, leading many to believe that the diplomats were made ill by a severe sonic attack.
“To conduct an attack of this kind required close access and sophisticated technology, and large equipment, probably,” Rubio had said. “There’s no way you can do that in a closed society like Cuba without [the government] knowing about it at a minimum. So they know who did it or they did it themselves.”
The State Department also confirmed that the victims have suffered symptoms that include permanent hearing loss, cognitive problems, severe memory loss, and sleeplessness.
The United States only last month, had expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington after dramatically reduced American diplomatic presence in Havana.
The Secretary of State – Rex Tillerson had said in a statement that the expulsion was simply a result of “Cuba’s failure to take appropriate steps to protect our diplomats” and to “ensure equity in our respective diplomatic operations.”
Even before these attacks were made fully public, President Donald Trump had announced a partial rollback of the Obama administration’s moves towards the normalization. Though many of these Obama-era changes were kept in place, Trump implemented much greater restrictions on the American tourists who were visiting the island.
Rubio, who is a Cuba hardliner, lauded the policy revisions that were detailed in June as great positive steps toward advancing the U.S. national security interests and protecting the human rights.