After months of investigations by U.S. and Cuban authorities, there is no evidence that U.S. diplomats were the victims of “sonic attacks” in Cuba.
However, the case is being manipulated for political ends, to damage the Revolution’s image internationally, and as a justification to take unilateral measures directly impacting the Cuban people.
Since the story was first reported a series of inaccuracies and blatant lies have appeared in international media and official statements. Granma shares a list of the 10 most common:
1. U.S. DIPLOMATS WERE VICTIMS OF “ATTACKS” IN CUBA
The use of the word “attack” implies a certain position with regard to the incidents. Neither Cuban or U.S. authorities have been able to identify the origin or cause of the alleged incidents, which are by their very nature profoundly sensationalist.
An FBI report leaked by Associated Press noted that there is no evidence of a “sonic attack” against U.S. diplomatic personnel in Cuba.
Nor have those working the case been able to identify possible authors or persons with the motive, intent or means, to carry out such actions.
If this were a court trial, the case would be missing a perpetrator, the device, and victims. Despite this, the international press and White House, continue to use the word “attack.”
2. CUBA POSESSES A STATE-OF-THE-ART “SONIC DEVICE”
Since the story hit the headlines the theory has circulated that a state-of-the-art sonic weapon could be responsible for the incidents. However, this has been overwhelmingly refuted by national and international scientists.
Although sonic weapons do exist, above all in the arsenals of developed countries, for audible sound to cause damage, it would need to be as loud as plane engine and would be impossible to go undetected.
Cuba meanwhile, has categorically denied that it owns, has any knowledge of, or is familiar with such technologies.
3. TARGETED ATTACKS
It seems unlikely that the alleged incidents would have occurred where they reported to have taken place: including sites guarded by the U.S. itself and without direct access from outside.
The attacks would have had to have laser-like precision to affect a specific individual without also causing damage to others.
4. VICTIMS SUFFERED BRAIN DAMAGE
The symptoms cited by U.S. diplomats include ear pain, loss of hearing, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, cognitive problems, difficulty sleeping, and the most mysterious of all, brain damage.
Experts have noted that there is no documented medical case of sound leading to concussions or cognitive problems. According to “Joseph Pompei, a former MIT researcher and psychoacoustics expert, “Brain damage and concussions, are not possible… Someone would have to submerge their head into a pool lined with very powerful ultrasound transducers.”
5. MEDICAL REPORT SUPPORTS WASHINGTON’S THEORY
On February 14, a controversial article was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) entitled: Neurological Symptoms Among U.S. Diplomats in Cuba.
The text has been used to lend scientific credibility to Washington’s theory. However, authors Christopher C. Muth and Steven L. Lewis noted that “a unifying explanation for the symptoms experienced by the U.S. government officials (…) remains elusive and the effect of possible exposure to audible phenomena is unclear.”
The study concludes in very general terms stating that diplomats seem to “have sustained injury to widespread brain networks.”
According to an article in The Guardian, Robert Bartholomew, an expert in mass psychogenic illness (MPI) who teaches at Botany Downs Secondary College in Auckland, New Zealand, said he was “floored by the study” and claims that it reads like U.S. government propaganda. “It’s like the authors are trying to get us to believe an attack has occurred,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the committee of Cuban experts assigned to the case explained that the information provided has mainly been subjective, based on the statements of those affected, and the opinion of investigators, while objective data (medical exams) are insufficient and incomplete.
6. AN “ATTACK,” THE ONLY EXPLANATION
Psycho-social factors have also been put forward as a possible cause for the alleged incidents, which would explain the variety of symptoms cited by Washington.
In an online forum about the case, Cuban experts noted that an in-depth study of all possible causes must be carried out before forming an opinion.
Meanwhile international experts agree that: “From an objective point of view it's more like mass hysteria than anything else,” according to Mark Hallett, the head of the human motor control section of the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, who noted, “Psychosomatic disease is a disease like anything else. It should not be stigmatized.”
7. CUBAN AUTHORITES REFUSE TO COOPERATE
Ever since the alleged health incidents were first reported in February 2017, Cuban authorities have dealt with the issue in a timely, serious and professional manner.
Cuba even allowed FBI experts to conduct investigations on the ground on several occasions, all of which failed to find any evidence of the supposed attacks.
Meanwhile, the committee of Cuban experts working the case encountered difficulties due to a lack of cooperation from U.S. authorities, who failed to share all available information, and denied Cuban authorities access to patients and their medical records.
8. DIPLOMATS ARE AT RISK IN CUBA
Cuba is renowned for its adherence to the Vienna Convention and has never perpetrated attacks of any kind against diplomatic personnel from any country, or allowed its territory to be used to do so.
Meanwhile, Cuban diplomats have been the victims of acts of violence in the U.S. orchestrated by members of well-known terrorist groups with links to Washington.
One of the most famous cases is that of Cuban diplomat Félix García Rodríguez, who was murdered in broad daylight by members of the Omega 7 terrorist group, on September 11, 1980, while serving at the country's United Nations mission in New York.
Cuba, faced with the threat of war or in moments of great tension, has never opted for violence. Why would it do so after making the sovereign decision to reestablish diplomatic relations with Washington?
9. SOUTH FLORIDA POLITICIANS ONLY CONCERNED FOR THE WELFARE OF U.S. DIPLOMATS
Sectors opposed to rapprochement between the two nations have been manipulating the issue of the alleged health incidents to justify a reversal in the process to improve U.S.-Cuba relations and advance their own agenda.
The politicization of the case, which recently led to unilateral measures by the U.S. government, only benefits a small group of right wing anti-Cubans, led by Marco Rubio, which continues to promote a hostile policy toward the island - against the interests of the country and its citizens
10. TOURISTS AT RISK
As part of the political manipulation of the case, the White House alleged that in September of last year a dozen U.S. citizens who had traveled to Cuba, also experienced symptoms similar to those of the diplomats.
But bearing in mind that terms as general as dizziness and headaches are used, one can appreciate the absurdity of the accusations.
Over four million international visitors traveled to Cuba last year, including 620,000 U.S. citizens.
Their experiences on the island and satisfaction, according to specialist surveys, is proof of Cuba’s tranquility, security, and stability, which has been recognized by international organizations such as the UN and other tourism agencies.