US to pull out of Cuba af­ter ‘sonic at­tacks’ on di­plo­mats

Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY CHRISTOPHER BUCKTIN US Edi­tor chris.bucktin@mir­

AMER­ICA is pulling staff out of its Cuban em­bassy due to the mys­tery “sonic at­tacks” on its di­plo­mats.

US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son yes­ter­day or­dered all non-es­sen­tial work­ers to be moved out, with Amer­i­cans warned against trav­el­ling there.

It is a blow to del­i­cate ties be­tween the coun­tries and comes al­most a year af­ter di­plo­mats in the cap­i­tal be­gan high­light­ing se­ri­ous health is­sues.

Some 21 work­ers and their fam­i­lies have been af­fected by what may have been as many as 50 at­tacks from a “so­phis­ti­cated de­vice” which has tar­geted their homes and ho­tels.

Vic­tims have suf­fered ev­ery­thing from ear com­plaints and dizzi­ness to fa­tigue and brain in­jury. It’s be­lieved Cana­dian of­fi­cials were also hit. Mr Tiller­son said: “The de­ci­sion to re­duce our pres­ence in Ha­vana was made to en­sure the safety of per­son­nel. We main­tain diplo­matic re­la­tions with Cuba.”

He con­firmed that the Cuban lead­er­ship is prob­ing the at­tacks, while the US will also “con­tinue to ag­gres­sively in­ves­ti­gate [them].” The em­bassy will lose roughly 60% of its US staff, with only “emer­gency per­son­nel” stay­ing.

Mr Tiller­son had con­sid­ered a full em­bassy shut­down, of­fi­cials said.

Cuba’s gov­ern­ment has of­fered the FBI un­prece­dented ac­cess to the coun­try for its probe and in­sisted it “has never per­pe­trated at­tacks of any kind against di­plo­mats”.

PROBE US em­bassy, Ha­vana

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