Tillerson to launch new review of Havana 'attacks'


Medical tests showing concussion-like symptoms, ranging from recurring headaches to lost hearing and balance, "suggest this is not an episode of mass hysteria", State Department chief medical officer Charles Rosenfarb said at the hearing.

Cuban officials, who are conducting their own investigation, have denied any involvement or any knowledge of what was behind it. Cuba's Foreign Ministry chief for U.S. Affairs Josefina Vidal sharply criticized the United States late on Tuesday for talking of "attacks" when they had no evidence of that. A new Federal Bureau of Investigation report said there's no evidence backing up the initial theory of a sonic weapon.

US experts have yet to determine who or what was behind the mysterious illnesses that began occurring in late 2016 and heightened tensions between the old Cold War foes.

The Cuban government, however, has denied any involvement in the incidents or knowledge of who perpetrated the potential attacks against USA diplomats.

"I do know other type of attacks are being considered in a connection with this", he said.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) also said recently the United States has found no evidence that American diplomats in Havana were the victims of attacks with an unknown weapon.

"The FBI is saying that there's no evidence of a sonic attack".

"I find it regrettable that a representative of the United States government has such an indolent attitude toward an act of aggression suffered by USA citizens", Cuban dissident Antonio Rodiles said about Flake's statements.

Sen. Cory Gardner R-Colo. left and Sen. Jeff Flake R-Ariz. confer as the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere examines attacks on American diplomats in Havana on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday Jan. 9 2018. (AP

KELEMEN: And he says Cuba has a long history of harassing US diplomats.

Rubio and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., repeatedly pressed Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs Francisco Palmieri over the timing and scope of the State Department's response in Havana, and Rubio argued that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should have set up an Accountability Review Board within 60 days of the US government learning about serious injuries suffered by USA government officials. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) defended the regime against blame. The officials told senators the USA government knew of no weapon, sonic or otherwise, that could produce the effects seen in the Cuba patients.

"If senior Cuban officials did not directly order these attacks, they must've been aware or given tacit approval to foreign agents to operate in Cuba", Menendez said.

Rubio is one of the harshest critics of the Cuban government in Congress.

However, Tillerson remains adamant, defending the order to evacuate saying USA federal personnel, citizens and their families and saying he would not renounce the decision until the "deliberate attacks" were stopped.

The State Department withdrew most personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Havana last fall and expelled 17 Cuban diplomats from Washington. He said he will not reverse his decision to keep all but essential US diplomats out of Cuba until he can be assured they will be safe.

Brown said the State Department's conclusion has been that these were hostile acts toward American diplomats, "a form of harassment attributable to the government".

Aside from the Cuban government itself, those responsible could be "either a third-party government that they cannot take on or elements in their government that they cannot reveal or else it would look like they are internally unstable", he said. -Cuban relations that were restored under President Barack Obama.

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