Rubio: U.S. Should Do More to Hold Cuba Accountable for Sonic 'Attacks'

'There should be no doubt that these attacks are not simply accidents'

Sen. Marco Rubio
Sen. Marco Rubio / Getty Images
November 30, 2018

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) said the United States should find additional ways to punish Cuba after the Canadian government confirmed that one of their diplomats assigned to Havana developed the same mysterious health problems that nearly two dozen U.S. personnel and other Canadian diplomats experienced.

Canada's government on Thursday announced it is reviewing its diplomatic presence in Cuba after confirming that the staff member was affected. Medical tests showed that the person suffered from the same health issues that had affected a dozen other Canadian personnel, spouses, and their children, officials said.

"Once again we have learned that the Cuban government has failed to keep foreign diplomats, both American and Canadian, safe on their own soil," Rubio said Friday. "And as I have long said, nothing happens in Cuba that the regime does not know about."

"There should be no doubt that these attacks against foreign diplomats on Cuban soil are not simply accidents," he added. "The families of those affected and the international community deserve answers, and the U.S. should look at additional policy options to hold the Cuban regime accountable for the ongoing harm being done to foreign diplomats and their families."

The United States has reduced his embassy staff in Cuba from more than 50 to a maximum of 18 after more than two dozen personnel developed unusual illnesses with some complaining of strange experiences in their residences involving chirping sounds that some have interpreted as sonic attacks.

Symptoms have included cognitive damage, hearing loss, headache and fatigue, vertigo, and other patterns consistent with "mild traumatic brain injury," the State Department has said.

A lengthy FBI investigation into the mysterious illnesses of those stationed in Havana has been unable to determine the cause or the perpetrators. Cuban officials have said they have cooperated fully with the probes and were not behind the incidents nor have any knowledge about what is causing the illnesses.

Canadian officials in April directed the families of their diplomats in Havana to leave the communist-run island. Next week, Canadian officials will travel to Cuba to review whether it should continue to retain its diplomatic staff there.

Published under: Cuba , Marco Rubio