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Scientifically unacceptable: Cuban experts refute US claims of 'Havana Syndrome'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A car passes by the US Embassy in Havana, Cuba, on March 2, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

A panel of Cuban scientists has rejected Washington's claims of American spies and diplomats overseas coming down with a mysterious illness known as "Havana Syndrome", saying the allegations are “not scientifically acceptable.”

The illness, which has come to be known as “Havana Syndrome”, was first reported by American diplomats in Cuba in 2016. US politicians, researchers and pundits have speculated that the mysterious condition was caused by electronic weapons.

The Cuban scientists on Monday said there was "no scientific evidence of attacks" of this nature on Cuban territory.

"We conclude that the narrative of the 'mysterious syndrome' is not scientifically acceptable in any of its components," the panel said in a report published on state-run website Cubadebate.

The panel included 16 experts in a variety of fields and affiliated to the Cuban Academy of Sciences.

The experts said some have accepted "as an axiom that attacks occurred in Havana."

"However, after four years, no evidence of attacks has appeared," and "neither the Cuban police, nor the FBI, nor the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have discovered evidence of 'attacks' on diplomats in Havana despite intense investigations," the Cuban team of experts said.

Canadian diplomats in Havana also reported several cases in 2017.

The illness’ symptoms purportedly include headaches, nausea, memory loss, vertigo, bloody noses and hearing strange sounds.

In 2019, a researcher at Berkeley University found that the sound was a near-perfect match to the continuous chirping of the Indies cricket, but the US State Department rejected the research. 

The Cuban scientists said, "No known form of energy can selectively cause brain damage (with laser-like spatial accuracy) under the conditions described for the alleged incidents in Havana."

Since 2016, the mysterious symptoms have affected American diplomats and spies in China, Germany, Austria, and the US itself.

Last month, US Vice President VP Kamala Harris’ trip to Vietnam was delayed by several hours due to the sickness of two American officials in Hanoi.

Mitchell Valdés-Sosa, director general of the Cuban Neuroscience Center, said, “The international press continues to intensely disseminate non-science-based explanations that confuse the public and harm US officials who believe them,” noted that such claims present an obstacle to the thawing of Cuba-US ties.

Under the administration of former president Donald Trump, Washington scaled back its diplomatic presence in Havana in 2018 over the alleged attacks.

Last year, the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) concluded that “directed, pulsed radio frequency energy” was the “most plausible” explanation behind the cases. The study, however, did not rule out other possibilities.


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