Bolton and Rubio Keep Pushing the “Sonic Attacks” Tale

Photo Source Chatham House | CC BY 2.0

There has been an intense and extensive media campaign that involved a group of U.S. officials accredited as diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Havana with strange acoustic attacks. Their origin and actors could not be identified, and then Washington decided to reduce the staff of its representation in Cuba. This had a big impact on consular, political and tourist relations between the two countries.

Washington’s rhetorical indictment didn’t identify presumed culprits or evidence of the supposed crimes, nor the sources for the speculative comments that were always anonymous. This peculiarity later served to justify the fact that the main victims could not be met with, given that they were agents of the U.S. intelligence services, and therefore unable by the nature of their functions, to contribute to the inquiries with testimonies related to their secret work at the Embassy.

The Cuban authorities, from the beginning, took on themselves the task of clarifying the facts. Cuba contributed to the U.S. investigative work. This included including supporting the work in Cuba of an ad hoc FBI delegation that traveled especially for that purpose. Then the U.S. government decided to drastically reduce the personnel in its mission in Havana. That aroused distrust with respect to the cooperation offered by the Cuban side.

Faced with the evident impossibility of discovering the origin and identifying the culprits, the idea that it could have been yet another malicious action against Cuba by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) gained discreet strength.

But recently, coinciding with the entry into the arena of the ultra-reactionary and shadowy diplomat and politician John Bolton, as Trump’s National Security Advisor, with the prediction that he will soon become the power behind the throne in the White House, the press began to resurrect the issue of sonic attacks, increasing the number and scope of journalistic work on the subject.

A striking report by Jon Lee Anderson in The New Yorker served as a prelude to the resumption of the “acoustic attacks” campaign.

Almost simultaneously, Ottawa’s Globe and Mail reported that Canadian diplomats whose families, by a decision of their government, had to leave the embassy in Havana because of alleged sonic events they were publicly protesting, claiming that Global Affairs, Canada’s foreign ministry, had turned its back on them.

Canadian diplomats complained that, unlike the U.S. State Department, Global Affairs had said very little about the matter in public. It also did not seem to be making their case a priority without which it was difficult for them to get specialized medical attention.

“We didn’t expect to be abandoned, or more precisely, sacrificed. That’s how we feel now,” a spokesperson for the group told the Globe and Mail. Several of those affected believe that Ottawa has said little in public because it wants to maintain friendly relations with Cuba, the newspaper wrote.

Adam Austen, speaking Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, barely said that “we will continue to do everything we can to provide advice and support to those affected,” provoking opinions such as, “Canadian diplomats affected by the unidentified disease in Cuba feel abandoned. They feel that the Canadian government is covering something up, or is indifferent to a problem that someone in Washington is interested in magnifying.

Headlines such as “Canadian diplomats affected by strange ailments in Cuba feel abandoned” proliferated in those countries where information is decisively influenced by U.S. consortia.

It should be noted that investigations have been hindered from the outset by mysterious circumstances. First, because the U.S. side did not allow accredited experts of any nationality clinical access to those affected, nor to U.S. military doctors who could see them within a period of time close to the events, arguing that the patients were personnel working in intelligence tasks, thus obliged to respect strict rules of secrecy by the nature of their tasks.

I still think that the search for an intellectual author of the attacks between enemy persons or governments of the United States ignores the possibility that it may have been authorities of the American intelligence community. They may have been trying out some clandestine program or secret weapon, which for some reason fell into the hands of opportunists such as Senator Rubio with the unscrupulous help provided by Bolton.

A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.

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Manuel E. Yepe is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana.

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