Monday, October 16, 2017

President of the United States believes Castro is responsible for attacks on U.S. diplomats

Update on the sonic attacks that have harmed at least 22 Americans in Cuba 

The U.S. Embassy in Havana emptied of non-essential personnel
Today the President of the United States in a news conference in the White House Rose Garden said, "I do believe Cuba is responsible" for the health attacks on U.S. diplomats. The past week has been difficult for Castro regime apologists. The attempt to discount the "sonic attacks" as simply the overactive imagination of paranoid diplomats was blown out of the water when the Associated Press released the audio of the noise associated with the attacks on October 12, 2017. On the same day White House Chief of Staff John Kelly stated: "We believe that the Cuban government could stop the attacks on our diplomats."

The official timeline remains unknown, but news reporting indicates that beginning in November 2016 U.S. diplomats suffered injuries to their health following odd sounds being directed at them. The story did not go public until August 9, 2017 when CBS Radio was going to break the story leaked by angry victims, who believed that not enough had been done, and that the State Department was ignoring their suffering. This led to the question: did downplaying the attacks encourage more of them?  As days passed the number of diplomats impacted increased. The last attacks were apparently in August of 2017 according to news accounts.

The Castro regime, at first claiming ignorance, denied ever being involved in attacks on diplomats, then called it a case of mass hysteria.  This blog highlighted the Cuban dictatorship's prior record of targeting U.S. diplomats by Cuban state security agents who murdered their pets, replaced mouthwash with urine, and in 1996 endangered the life of Robin Myers trying to crash into her car repeatedly with other vehicles and nearly ran her off the road (the manner in which they began the attack that ended in the deaths of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero in 2012.)

On December 17, 2014 President Obama claimed that the previous policy was static and had not achieved anything, but his policy not only coincided with a rise in repression in Cuba, the deaths of high profile dissidents, but also this insidious attack on U.S. diplomats. The same day that the President announced the normalization of relations with the Castro regime this blog made the following observation:
One hopes that the mistakes made by the Bush Administration in taking North Korea off the list are not repeated with Cuba. The belief that removing North Korea from the terror sponsor list would improve its behavior did not manifest itself after the fact. Rewarding the hardline and rogue elements in the Castro regime is unlikely to improve the dictatorship's behavior to the contrary it may worsen.
Cuba was taken off the list of state sponsors of terrorism in May of 2015 and Obama paid an official visit to Cuba in March of 2016. In January of 2017 Cuban troops being reviewed by Raul Castro chanted how they would repeatedly shoot President Obama so many times in the head that they would make a lead hat. Meanwhile to date 22 American diplomats and or their dependents have been victims of sonic attacks that has caused hearing loss, brain trauma and brain swelling.

Without guarantees that the attacks will end the United States reduced U.S. embassy officials in Cuba by 60%  on September 29, 2017 and asked 15 Cuban diplomats to leave the United States on October 3, 2017 for the sake of parity.

This story is not going away.

Sonic attacks against U.S. diplomats in Cuba?

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