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22:51, 25 February 2018 Sunday
10:31, 05 January 2018 Friday

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Canada sent doctor to Cuba to examine embassy staff
Canada sent doctor to Cuba to examine embassy staff

Source of ailments to Canada, US diplomats remains mystery

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Canadian government sent a doctor to Cuba to examine embassy diplomats who complained of medical ailments thought to have been caused by acoustic attacks, Canadian media reported Thursday.

Newly declassified and released memos show that Dr. Jeffery Chermin, a physician with Health Canada, was dispatched to the Canadian embassy in Havana last June.

Diplomatic staff experienced symptoms similar to that suffered by American diplomats such as nosebleeds, short-term memory and hearing loss as well as nausea. The  source of the maladies remains a mystery, but speculation by officials pointed to some type of sonic attack.

The phenomenon was severe enough that the U.S., blaming Cuba for the attacks, recalled many of its embassy staff home from Havana, while expelling Cuban representatives from Washington.

The newly disclosed Global Canada memos state that as early as May, Canadian staff experienced medical problems.

“Many of the symptoms are similar to signs of extreme stress and there is the possibility that there could be mental health effects caused by the fear of being targeted,” diplomat Karen Foss wrote. “Either way, testing should help to rule out cases and reassure personnel that we have the means to be able to provide duty of care.”

She wrote in a May 28 email that the cause of the ailments could not be pinpointed – “There are no answers.”

All Canadian diplomatic staff that had symptoms underwent testing in Canada or the U.S. and officials said later in the year that all had recovered, but a Global Affairs spokesman declined Thursday to say how many were affected.

 

 



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