On Wednesday, officials confirmed that two Cuban diplomats were expelled from the United States embassy following an "incident" that, well, apparently involved a secret "sonic device" giving diplomats hearing loss?
A group of American diplomats working in Havana were left with severe hearing loss due to a covert sonic device, USA officials have claimed.
The incident is the first to occur since Obama officially reopened the embassy, but far from the only case of suspected harassment of American diplomats in Cuba. The Obama administration also approved a package of regulatory changes that was meant to expand scientific, humanitarian, trade and commercial opportunities between the USA and Cuba. The AP also reports an investigation concluded that an advanced sonic weapon placed in or around the diplomats' homes was to blame.
"The safety and security of US citizens is our top priority", Nauert said, adding that "the Cuban government has a responsibility and obligation to protect our diplomats under the Geneva Convention".
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Washington and Havana re-established diplomatic relations in 2015 after more than five decades of hostilities, re-opening embassies in each other's capitals and establishing a new chapter of engagement between the former Cold War foes. "We take those incidents very seriously and there is an investigation now underway". The mysterious incidents led to the United States expelling two Cuba officials from their Washington, D.C. embassy.
The US State Department has expelled two Cuban diplomats from the US over safety concerns of American officials who reported experiencing unexplained "physical symptoms" while working in Cuba.
According to the Associated Press, the diplomats' hearing loss could have been linked to sound deafining emitted by some kind of sonic device. Americans serving in Cuba had returned to the U.S for non life-threatening "medical reasons".
The foreign ministry said it had started a "comprehensive, priority and urgent investigation" into the alleged incidents after it had been informed of them by the United States embassy in February.
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The baby's mother, Bonnie Brogna, said she was away from the house for a little over half an hour when the Snapchat was posted. It's unclear from the video how long the baby was inside the appliance but officials say the baby did not suffer any injuries.
According to BBC, it is clear that the two Cuban diplomats left Washington in May.
"We have some Americans who choose to come home as a result of that", said Nauert.
The FBI and the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service are involved in the investigation.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirms that Cuba complies strictly and seriously with its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 regarding the protection of the integrity of diplomatic agents and the premises of the mission", the ministry added.
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The department has launched an airline passenger website to make it easy for travelers to understand their rights. The department said 76.2 percent of flights in June arrived on time, down from 78.0 percent in June 2016.
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