Another Canadian diplomat reported a traumatic traumatic brain injury in Cuba, leading to the 13th incidence among diplomats and dependents with "unusual health symptoms."
According to a statement from Global Affairs Canada, the affected person receives medical care, while the government continues to investigate the potential causes of the so-called Havana syndrome.
“In the light of this new information, it was decided to allow employees who are currently sent to Cuba to return to Canada if they wish,” the statement said.
It has been more than a year since the last report of such an injury at the Canadian Embassy in Havana. Several American and Canadian diplomats and family members have been treated for the past two years after reporting strange symptoms of concussion.
Both countries believe that their diplomats were targeting unknown technology, and both the FBI and the RCMP are investigating. The US also imposed sanctions on Cuba in connection with the attacks, although officials in Washington and Ottawa believe that the Cuban government probably speaks the truth when it denies involvement.
The statement said that a delegation of high-ranking Canadian government officials will travel to Cuba next week to analyze current operations and evaluate how to further reduce risks.
Long break between attacks
Last winter, Canada made some changes to its mission in Havana in response to the attacks that affected 12 diplomats and their families, including children. Havana was no longer an “unaccompanied” publication, which means that family members are no longer invited to join diplomatic staff in Havana.
Canada also updated its staff at the embassy and found accommodation for newcomers in the same complex, rather than scattering around the city in private houses and apartments. The new premises are not close to any diplomatic establishment in the United States, which reduces the likelihood that Canadians in Havana will be confused with US diplomats.
Before the most recent case, the last Canadian symptom report was diagnosed last fall, but believed that the initial attack occurred earlier this summer. The newest case – with the participation of a career diplomat, according to government sources – accounts for almost 18 months without any incident.
The most recent case is expected to be examined by a neurologist at Dalhousie University, who is studying the effects of brain injuries and their possible causes. Global Affairs Canada also sent some of its affected diplomats to the University of Pennsylvania, which took the lead in exploring diplomatic personnel and US family members at the request of the State Department.
Some of the U..S diplomats reported that they had heard strange sounds before the onset of their symptoms or had uncomfortable physical sensations.
Sources in the Canadian government say that of the 12 Canadians who were previously affected, only one of them felt the sensation of waves or impulses passing through the air. In all other cases, Canadians learned about their injuries when they began to experience symptoms.
In the newest case, the diplomat also could not recall any particular incident that could cause symptoms.
Who is behind this?
US officials said the attacks are not consistent with any known technology or weapons, but they believe that they are deliberate and targeted. Some scientists pointed to the possibility of using microwave technology as a possible culprit, but neither the US government nor the Canadian government has yet come to an explanation.
It is assumed that the attacks are the work of a state actor with a presence in Cuba, but the timing of incidents that began during the US rapprochement with Cuba does not involve the participation of the Cuban side.
Potential suspects include other governments, such as Russia or China, or elements of rogue states within the Cuban regime, possibly in concert with a foreign government.