HAVANA (Dispatches) -- Cuban
scientists said there was no evidence for claims of U.S. diplomats coming down with so-called “Havana Syndrome” on the island.
The mysterious affliction is said to cause headaches, nausea and possible brain damage, and is rumored by the U.S. to be caused by electronic weapons possibly wielded by Russia.
Several suspected cases have allegedly been reported among U.S. officials and intelligence officers since 2016, first in Cuba, then in China, Germany, Australia, Taiwan and in Washington itself.
But a panel convened by the government of Communist Cuba -- 16 experts in a variety of fields and affiliated to the Cuban Academy of Sciences -- said the claims were not “scientifically acceptable,” and there was “no scientific evidence of attacks” of this nature on Cuban soil.
“We conclude that the narrative of the ‘mysterious syndrome’ is not scientifically acceptable in any of its components,” the panel said in a report published on Cubadebate, an official news site of the one-party state.
In July, the New Yorker magazine reported there had been dozens of new “Havana Syndrome” cases among U.S. officials in Vienna, Austria since the beginning of 2021.
Last month, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris delayed a trip to Vietnam after the U.S. embassy in Hanoi reported a possible case, raising concerns she could be a target.
The Cuban expert report said some have accepted “as an axiom that attacks occurred in Havana.”
“However, after four years, no evidence of attacks has appeared,” and “neither the Cuban police, nor the FBI, nor the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have discovered evidence of ‘attacks’ on diplomats in Havana despite intense investigations.”
The alleged incidents remain little understood and have sparked wild U.S. theories they were caused by a weapon that uses focused microwaves, ultrasound, poison or even a reaction to crickets.
The Cuban experts said, “No known form of energy can selectively cause brain damage (with laser-like spatial accuracy) under the conditions described for the alleged incidents in Havana.”
“They added most of the symptoms reported could be explained by disease, concluding: “There is no novel syndrome.”
The panel said it would review any new evidence.
The administration of former president Donald Trump pulled U.S. staff out of Havana and expelled Cuban diplomats from Washington, hinting that either the Cuban or Russian government was behind the alleged attacks.
Last year, a National Academy of Sciences study speculated that one possible explanation could be pulsed, directed microwaves. The CIA has created a task force to study the alleged problem.