US Spies in Cuba Were Among First Victims of Mysterious Sonic ‘Attacks’ 8


The Hotel Capri in Havana is one of the sites of apparent sonic ‘attacks’ on US diplomatic personnel. Photograph: Desmond Boylan/AP

The incidents, which have caused hearing loss and brain injury, began within days of Donald Trump’s election but the motives and culprits remain obscure

(The Guardian) US intelligence operatives in Cuba were among the first and most severely affected victims of a string of baffling sonic attacks which has prompted Washington to pull out more than half of its diplomatic staff from Havana, the Associated Press has learned.

 It was not until US spies, posted to the embassy under diplomatic cover, reported hearing bizarre sounds and experiencing even stranger physical effects that the United States realized something was wrong, individuals familiar with the situation said.

 The attacks started within days of Donald Trump’s surprise election win in November, but the precise timeline remains unclear, including whether intelligence officers were the first victims hit or merely the first victims to report it. The US has called the situation “ongoing”.

 To date, the Trump administration has largely described the 21 victims as US embassy personnel or “members of the diplomatic community”. That description suggested only bona fide diplomats and their family members were struck, with no logical motivation beyond disrupting US-Cuban relations.

Behind the scenes, though, investigators immediately started searching for explanations in the darker, rougher world of spycraft and counterespionage, given that so many of the first reported cases involved intelligence workers posted to the US embassy. That revelation, confirmed to the AP by a half-dozen officials, adds yet another element of mystery to a year-long saga that the Trump administration says may not be over.

The state department and the CIA declined to comment for this story.

The first disturbing reports of piercing, high-pitched noises and inexplicable ailments pointed to someone deliberately targeting the US government’s intelligence network on the communist-run island, in what seemed like a bone-chilling escalation of the tit-for-tat spy games that Washington and Havana have waged over the last half centuryBut the US soon discovered that actual diplomats at the embassy had also been hit by similar attacks, officials said, further confounding the search for a culprit and a motive.

Of the 21 confirmed cases, American spies suffered some of the most acute damage, including brain injury and hearing loss that has not healed, said several US officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the investigation and demanded anonymity. They heard an unsettling sound inside and in some cases outside their Havana homes, described as similar to loud crickets. Then they fell ill.

Over time, the attacks seemed to evolve.

Feature continues here:  “US Spies Were Targets of “Sonic Attacks”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Retired Cuban Master-Spy, Dr. Néstor García Iturbe:  Why I Believe Trump Will Lift the Blockade  2

Dr. Néstor García Iturbe

Dr. Néstor García Iturbe

Why I Believe Trump Will Lift the Blockade 

Dr. Néstor García Iturbe, GRUPO HERALDO

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann

November 16, 2016.

A few persons have contacted me regarding the interview that I offered to VOCES DEL MUNDO where I said that, in my view, Donald Trump will lift the commercial, economic and financial blockade that the United States has maintained against Cuba for more than fifty years.

The reasons I put forward for saying this were explained in the interview, but because of a problem, seemingly a time limit in the radio program, they only broadcasted the claim, but not the reasoning behind it, which has created a logical question among all those who read the interview.

CubaNews, edited by Walter Lippmann, was interested in the subject and that is why I write this article. After it is published by CubaNews, I will also publish it in El Heraldo and send it to other recipients, because Walter showed interested in the subject and I consider he should have priority in spreading what I think.

The commercial, economic and financial blockade was imposed hoping it would stifle the Cuban Revolution and at a certain point the Cubans would have to apologize to the United States so they would lift it and we could survive.

None of this has happened; the Cuban Revolution, with difficulties, has continued to live and advance expanding its trade relations with other countries, while the United States has been absent and has therefore lost many commercial and economic opportunities. Had the blockade not existed, they would have participation and now it is other countries that benefit from those opportunities.

The outgoing President Barack Obama has repeatedly raised the futility of the blockade at this point in time and, in addition, has expressed his opinion that it should be lifted. I believe that Obama’s opinion is the reflection of companies and corporations eager to start having commercial relations with Cuba and make profits that the blockade prevents them from obtaining.

In statements made by Obama and the instructions he gave after December 17, 2014 in order to create the best possible conditions for the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, he told his team that they should initiate talks with Congress aimed at lifting the blockade on Cuba. Something was done, but with no results.

In recent years, a small number of bills have been presented in the United States Congress aimed at releasing some aspects related to the blockade.

Feature continues here:  Dr. Néstor García Iturbe  

 

 

 

Dr. Néstor García Iturbe