The State Department has reported that the total number of diplomats mysteriously injured by a sonic weapon while on a mission in Cuba has risen to 24.
On Friday, the state Department’s Press Secretary, Heather Nauret, released the revised the number of diplomats harmed by the unknown weapon system. In mid-August, only 6 of the government officials near the test site (6 months previous) were showing symptoms – but since then, the number of diplomats exhibiting symptoms of injury has risen dramatically.
She said, “Our personnel are receiving comprehensive medical evaluations and care. We can’t rule out additional new cases as medical professionals continue to evaluate members of the embassy community.”
The U.S. government’s investigation into the symptoms caused by the new weapon is ongoing, and the State Department will, “revise our assessments as we receive new information.”
The timing of the attacks came at a time when the Obama Administration was aggressively trying to expand friendly relations with the avowed communist regime in Cuba.
That latest State Department presser has also raised new questions about the Obama administration’s response to the attacks and whether they responded quickly enough to protect the U.S. diplomats or the administration slow-walked a response in any way to protect its détente with Cuba.
A spokesperson said, “It took time for those who experienced an incident to report it. It took time to realize that the experience had potentially impacted their health and then to verify that. It took further time yet to realize that multiple people had experienced things that might be connected. Once we realized that there was a pattern to the incidents and their impact on the health of our personnel, we began an aggressive investigation.”
Senator Marco Rubio President Trump on Friday to direct the United States to vote against any U.N. General Assembly’s resolution demanding a change to the U.S. embargo against Cuba, when it comes up for a vote as expected next month.
“While I recognize the U.N. General Assembly’s vote would be only symbolic, it would send the wrong message to human rights defenders and pro-democracy dissidents in Cuba,” Rubio wrote to Trump.
“Over the years, far too many Cubans who have sought to promote self-government, the impartial rule of law, and adherence to universal values on the island have suffered imprisonment, violence, torture, and other human rights violations under the Castro regime. Some have even lost their lives,” he further added.
He said that he hoped the new policy would help hasten “the day when the Cuban people have the opportunity to elect their own leaders and live under a government that truly represents them and respects their God-given, inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”