Canada recalls embassy diplomats’ families from Havana, Cuba, after employees and their families reported in 2017 on mysterious health problems, the Canada federal government announced Monday.
The decision was made after 10 Canadians continue to show unexplained brain symptoms including dizziness, headaches and lack of ability to concentrate, amongst others.
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In March 2018, the results of an environmental assessment of diplomatic staff in Havana, including tests of air and water quality did not indicate anything that could point to a cause.
According to the Canadian Government medical information raised concerns for a new type of a possible acquired brain injury. “Additional research is needed to better understand this. The cause remains unknown but could be human-made,” said a media release from Global Affairs.
Therefore Canada has decided to change the designation of its Embassy to Cuba to an ‘unaccompanied post’.
Canada added that it has a positive and constructive relationship with Cuba and has received close cooperation from the Cuban authorities since health concerns of Canadians serving in Cuba first surfaced in the spring of 2017.
While regular Embassy operations will continue, there may be some service delays as the Department manages the departure of dependants in the coming days.
The United States decided in March to permanently scaled-down the number of diplomatic staff to its Cuban embassy after officials revealed that 24 embassy employees were victims of alleged sonic attacks.
On January 19 Americans who traveled to Cuba reported suffering symptoms — including hearing loss, dizziness, fatigue and headaches — consistent with the alleged sonic attacks at the embassy.