State Department still investigating diplomats' illnesses in Cuba, China




  • In US
  • 2018-07-11 17:09:08Z
  • By Reuters
A security officer stands next to the U.
A security officer stands next to the U.  

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials are still investigating health problems at the U.S. embassy in Cuba, and do not know who or what was behind the mysterious illnesses, which began in 2016 and have affected 26 Americans.

"We don't know who is responsible and we don't know what is responsible for this," Kenneth Merten, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, told a House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

The administration of President Donald Trump, which has partly rolled back a detente with Cuba, responded to the health problems by sharply reducing staff in Havana and in October expelled 15 Cuban diplomats.

Cuban officials, who are conducting their own investigation, have denied any involvement or knowledge of what was behind it.

Symptoms have included hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, headaches and fatigue, a pattern consistent with "mild traumatic brain injury," State Department officials have said.

In April, Canada said it would remove families of diplomats posted at its embassy in Cuba as information from medical specialists raised concerns about a new type of brain injury.

The State Department said last month it brought a group of diplomats home from Guangzhou, China, over concern they were suffering from a mysterious malady resembling brain injury.

Merten said he was not aware of any other embassies having been affected.

"We have taken this ... very seriously, both in the Cuba context and the China context which is, frankly, still very much evolving," he said.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Patricia Zengerle; editing by Susan Thomas)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Trump blames Washington for poor Russia ties ahead of Putin summit
Trump blames Washington for poor Russia ties ahead of Putin summit

By Jeff Mason and Andrew Osborn HELSINKI (Reuters) - Hours before he was due to sit down for his first ever summit with Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Donald Trump blamed "U.S. foolishness" for bad relations between Washington and Moscow, while the Kremlin said it expected a tough meeting.

Trump names EU a global foe, raps media before Putin summit
Trump names EU a global foe, raps media before Putin summit
  • World
  • 2018-07-15 17:25:51Z

HELSINKI (AP) - President Donald Trump named the European Union as a top adversary of the United States and denounced the news media as the "enemy of the people" before arriving in Helsinki on Sunday on the eve of his high-stakes summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

UK
UK's Theresa May: Trump told me to 'sue the EU' over Brexit
  • World
  • 2018-07-15 11:55:12Z

LONDON (AP) - Donald Trump has advised British Prime Minister Theresa May to "sue" the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Britain's impending exit from the bloc.

Trump
Trump's remarks about changing European culture draw ire

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's lament this week that immigration is "changing the culture" of Europe echoed rising anti-immigrant feelings on both sides of the Atlantic, where Europe and the United States are going through a demographic transformation that makes some of the

US official: Russia using social media to divide Americans
US official: Russia using social media to divide Americans
  • World
  • 2018-07-14 20:33:32Z

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The U.S. homeland security secretary said on Saturday there are no signs that Russia is targeting this year's midterm elections with the same "scale or scope" it targeted the 2016 presidential election.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.