Officials say there's a very strange reason behind U.S. diplomats returning early from Cuba

Sunset in Havana.
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Several U.S. diplomats had to leave Havana last year after they mysteriously started to lose their hearing, and officials said an advanced sonic weapon is to blame, The Associated Press reports.

The hearing loss began in the fall of 2016, after the U.S. and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations and the embassy in Havana reopened. The U.S. launched an investigation and determined that the diplomats had been attacked by a weapon that operated outside the range of audible sound and was covertly placed either inside or outside their homes, AP reports. Five diplomats were affected. The U.S. responded by expelling two Cuban diplomats from their Washington embassy on May 23, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, adding that there is no certain explanation for the incidents.

In Cuba, diplomats live in housing owned and maintained by the Cuban government, and they are under surveillance by the country's state security. Officials told AP that investigators are also looking into the possibility that a third party operating without Cuba's knowledge, like Russia, could have deployed the weapons. Cuban officials declined to comment on the report.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us