Cuba Rejects Allegations by High-Ranking US Official

Cuba Rejects Allegations by High-Ranking US Official

The report followed the FBI's four trips to Havana and months of investigation on the attacks.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke with The Associated Press about the attacks and said he will not send American diplomats back to Cuba until their safety can be guaranteed.

United States officials tell CNN they are still mystified by the incidents that led the U.S. to withdraw most of its personnel from the embassy in Havana and issue a travel warning for people thinking of visiting the communist-run island. A new Federal Bureau of Investigation report said there's no evidence backing up the initial theory of a sonic weapon.

Pressed by Rubio about which officials knew what and when, Palmieri said he did not know if the Trump transition team was informed in late 2016 about the mysterious incidents, and said Tillerson wasn't informed about them until late February.

"The Cubans bristle at the word 'attack.' I think they are justified at doing so", Flake told CNN on Friday.

But US scientists have no idea what kind of weapon or agent could cause the symptoms, or whether the sounds heard were a by-product of the attack or its means of delivery.

But Rubio said the Cuban government, which maintains a vast surveillance network, knows.

"Whatever happened to these people happened as a result of some sophisticated technology that quite frankly is so sophisticated that we don't understand it", he said.

Cuban President Raúl Castro has denied involvement in the attacks, and Cuba's Foreign Ministry tweeted after the hearing that it was "regrettable to see officials of the State Department using the word attacks with ZERO evidence to prove it happened".

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In a third tweet, Rubio suggested the Castro regime likely knew about the incidents targeting USA government officials and their spouses.

The first suspected attack was traced back to November 2016, and the last two took place in mid-August 2017 after Washington had protested to Havana and withdrawn some staff.

Flake said that classified briefings from USA officials have left him with no reason to doubt the Cuban account, although he declined to discuss the contents of those briefings. Other symptoms included ear pain, vision problems, headaches and fatigue, and the pattern "indicated a non-natural source", Rosenfarb testified. But Senator Marco Rubio says he hopes one thing became clear in a hearing he held today on the issue.

"They associated the onset of these symptoms with unusual sounds or auditory sensations", Rosenfarb said.

"Among the descriptions, they complained of, a high pitch beam of sound, incapacitating sound, baffling sensation, akin to driving with windows partially open in a auto, or just intense pressure in one ear".

However, it's not expected to resolve the mystery of what some have alleged were "sonic attacks" amid a public disagreement between two Republican members of the committee holding the hearing over whether the diplomats were victims of "attacks". They have seen no evidence it was "an episode of mass hysteria" among the 24 affected US personnel and family members, a senior State Department medical officer told a Senate hearing. State Department officials refused to comment on the report at the hearing, suggesting it would be discussed at a later, classified hearing.

Questions about whether Russian Federation was somehow responsible for the attacks were deferred by State Department officials to the future classified hearing.

"In whatever case, they are responsible for the safety and security of U.S. diplomats stationed in Havana ... and they have failed to live up to that responsibility", he said.

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