Does Cuba Have New Sonic Technology?

The embassy of the United States of America in Cuba On the 29th September 2017, nearly two-thirds of its staff were suddenly recalled to Washington

They were in danger from something the State Department still cannot define, and which the world has never seen before According to the embassy staff, they were targeted by a device that uses sound waves to induce sickness, brain trauma or something even more harmful No-one knows exactly what or who has attacked them, but the most obvious suspect is Cuba Could America's old enemy have a new sonic weapon? The attacks began in November 2016, after the presidential election in the United States So far, there have been up to fifty incidents, which have affected twenty-one people from among U

S embassy personnel or the diplomatic community At least two Canadians have been affected The State Department says, “We don’t know the means, the methods or how the attacks are being carried out” There are only a few clues

The embassy building itself and the ambassador’s house have not been targeted Instead, the attacks have all taken place at the homes and hotels where staff were staying – places with much lower security than the embassy Victims report being awoken late at night by bizarre sounds The noise is a high-pitched, piercing, unsettling sound similar to loud crickets, or metal dragging across the floor It is limited to one room or part of a room, a targeted sound

Victims soon feel ill, suffering nausea and vertigo The worst symptoms include chronic hearing loss, mild brain trauma, concussion and even memory loss All these symptoms have been “medically confirmed” by the State Department Since the start, the attacks indicated the presence of a technology previously unknown to the US

government All authorities can say is that it is some kind of sonic weapon Disturbingly, the more recent incidents have reported no noises, just the symptoms Therefore the technology or methods of the attacks are evolving Denis Bedat, professor of psychoacoustics and neuroacoustics, and a specialist in bio-electromagnetics, says using an ultrasonic device for a stealth attack “is quite plausible from a technical point of view

Ultrasonic waves… can be broadcast with an amplifier, and the device does not need to be large, or used inside or outside a house” Indeed, sound has been used as a weapon for decades now Stun grenades create a blinding flash and over 160 decibels of sound – loud enough to disrupt the balance function of anyone in range and causing severe dizziness These flash-bangs were first used in the late 1970s, by the British Special Air Service In 2002, the Department of Defense developed the Active Denial System

Known as the heat ray, it focuses electromagnetic waves to create a burning sensation on the target’s skin Police use it for crowd control, alongside the Long Range Acoustic Device, or sound cannon This is capable of permanently damaging hearing, and has been used against protesters on land, pirates at sea, and against wildlife to keep it away from airports, power plants and oil rigs However, not everyone believes the claims of a new sonic weapon Joseph Pompei, founder of the sound projection company Holosonics, says, “Brain damage and concussions [from an acoustic weapon are] not possible

Somebody would have to submerge their head into a pool lined with very powerful ultrasound transducers” John Oghalai, Chair of the University of Southern California’s Caruso Department of Otolarynology-Head and Neck Surgery, agrees “It sounds very appealing and interesting, but I find it hard to believe that there actually is such a device” Is it possible that symptoms of normal illnesses are being interpreted as signs of a non-existent sonic weapon? Besides the puzzle of what is being used for these attacks, there is the question of why the attacks are happening – and that goes hand-in-hand with the question of who is behind them The biggest clue is who is being targeted

In October 2017, the government revealed the first and worst affected victims were American intelligence operatives This suggests the attacks are part of some espionage strategy against the US However, the list of victims now includes more general diplomatic staff and their families, and some Canadians As a result, the embassy was reduced to emergency staff only, and operations have been brought to a virtual standstill

The US provided visas to 20,000 Cubans a year, but now visa processing is indefinitely suspended The State Department has warned American citizens to not visit Cuba, in case they become targets The obvious motive, therefore, seems to be to disrupt relations between Cuba and the USA

These relations are already fragile America severed diplomatic ties to Cuba in 1961 over its Communist ties to the Soviet Union It implemented a permanent trade embargo, and many unsuccessful covert operations to invade the country or assassinate its leader, Fidel Castro In 2015, Barack Obama became the first President to visit Cuba in 88 years, and managed to reopen the embassy in Havana, to begin normalising relations with Cuba’s new leader, Raul Castro For his part, Castro has been very cooperative

He has allowed FBI agents and Royal Canadian Mounted Police to join the Cuban investigation into the attacks Although it has been ongoing since November 2016, it has made no progress so far This raises suspicions against Cuba A senior US

official anonymously told CNN that, “It is increasingly apparent the Cubans are involved in some way [They] are all over our people while they are down there… when it happens so many times, especially in the same hotel, it is hard for us to believe someone can get close enough to our people so many times” If Cuba is responsible, then it could be a rogue hardline element within the Cuban government Raul Castro is expected to step down in February 2018, which presents an opportunity for anti-American Cubans to reverse political achievements made under Barack Obama This may explain why attacks began immediately after Donald Trump was elected President

He is an outspoken critic of Obama’s easing of the trade embargo on Cuba He also called Cuba a “corrupt and destablizing regime”, “a cruel system” that “delivered anguish and devastation and failure” in front of the United Nations Cuba’s Foreign Minister responded in kind Damaging American-Cuban relations during the Trump administration may set things back to the way they were Already, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is considering closing the embassy altogether

Despite this, America has not blamed Cuba and diplomatic relations are still intact Cuba calls the decision to pull out diplomats “hasty” The State Department says it was purely a safety issue More worryingly, they said, “[We have] not yet identified the guilty party… [and] we have not ruled out the possibility of a third country [being responsible]” This may just be the beginning of a much bigger crisis

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