Cuba says US lying about ‘sonic attack’ on embassy personnel

World Today

Cuba accused the United States of lying about the mysterious sonic attacks affecting embassy personnel in Havana. And that the accusations are being used as an excuse to damage relations between the two countries. CGTN’s Roee Rottenberg has more.

Cuba’s Foreign Minister didn’t mince his words this week in a visit to Washington D.C. Bruno Rodriguez accused U.S. officials of lying about claims his government was behind a mysterious audio attack on American embassy staff.

“It is high time for the United States to speak the truth, or otherwise present evidence,” he said.

Washington said Havana didn’t do enough to safeguard American diplomats based there. At least 22 Americans have reportedly suffered a range of symptoms, from hearing loss to dizziness and mild brain injury.

In September, Washington began pulling out all non-essential staff, meaning that no visas to the U.S. can be issued or renewed. The U.S. also expelled 17 Cuban diplomats and warned Americans against traveling to the island.

“The measures adopted against Cuba are unwarranted and politically motivated,” Foreign Minister Rodriguez claimed, “since they are not based on evidence or investigation results.”

Rodriguez is on his third trip to the U.S. in recent weeks. After the U.N. General Assembly in late September, he met in Washington with his American counterpart Rex Tillerson, hoping to defuse tensions in what’s become the biggest diplomatic row between the two nations since relations were re-established in 2015.

The Cuban diplomat accused the Trump administration of trying to sabotage the progress made under U.S. President Barack Obama, and—in English—accused the U.S. of hypocrisy.

“If Havana were really an unsafe place, the U.S. authorities would not have requested 212 visas for relatives and friends of diplomats between January and October,” Rodriguez said.

The two countries are currently conducting separate investigations. The U.S. State Department said both are “cooperating.”

However, Cuba said the cooperation from the U.S. has been very limited. Rodriguez wants the Americans to share medical records and an unaltered recording of the sounds they believe may have caused the damage. So far, Havana said it has received neither.