CUBA: State Department Halts US Visas Indefinitely, Reduces Personnel Over Sonic Attacks On Diplomats

The Associated Press reports:

The United States is warning Americans against visiting Cuba and ordering more than half of U.S. personnel to leave the island, senior officials said Friday, in a dramatic response to what they described as “specific attacks” on diplomats.

The decision deals a blow to already delicate ties between the U.S. and Cuba, longtime enemies who only recently began putting their hostility behind them. The embassy in Havana will lose roughly 60 percent of its U.S. staff, and will stop processing visas in Cuba indefinitely, the American officials said.

In a new travel warning to be issued Friday, the U.S. will say some of the attacks have occurred in Cuban hotels, and that while American tourists aren’t known to have been hurt, they could be exposed if they travel to Cuba. Tourism is a critical component of Cuba’s economy that has grown in recent years as the U.S. relaxed restrictions.

  • justme

    and was this decision because of a FOX NEWS ALERT!!!
    on FAUX and Fiends ???

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    This is such a weird story. What the hell is going on ?

  • Jonathan Smith
  • CUBANS GOT WEIRDING MODULES!

  • Tomcat

    Who is to say any of this is actual real news? There is just too much bullshit being made up and called truth theses days.

  • Tiger Quinn

    Every day this admin’s hatred for brown people is proven.

  • Sam_Handwich

    russians trying to prevent America from abandoning its decades old grudge against a country right off our shore?

    • Uncle Mark

      I’ve been wondering the same thing, since the news first broke about these sonic attacks. There’s no good reason for the Cuban gov’t to be doing this

      • That_Looks_Delicious

        Especially weird since nobody seems to know exactly what they are, how it’s being done or who is doing it.

        • Frank McCormick

          And absolutely no evidence.

        • Philly Mike

          Canadian embassy staff also have complained about the same ailments.

      • Tatonka

        They’re retaliating for a quarter century of being forced to listen to Nickelback.

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    • another_steve

      Great point, Sam.

      Heard a commentator the other day make the point that Putin’s global strategy seems to be “divide and conquer.” As more and more right-wing politicians gain ascendancy across the globe (with Russia’s help), there’s more and more internal strife in their nations. Internal strife that weakens those nations.

      That may have been Putin’s true goal last year. Not necessarily to get Trump elected, but to sow division and discord in the US.

      • David L. Caster

        Trump was a bonus for Putin as far as the sowing of discord and division is concerned.

        • another_steve

          Yes, and what’s emerging with respect to the growing Facebook/Twitter scandal is that the Russians were interested in creating – in fomenting – tensions within the Democratic Party as well. Tensions between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

          As Russia consolidates its holdings, annexing other nations, there’s chaos abroad.

          The perfect strategy for Putin and Co.

          • David L. Caster

            Exactly. Putin wanted to take the US piece off the board. Not sure he anticipated the actual election of Trump but that’s what he got.

      • GeneInSJ

        Yes, it makes the most sense.

      • lymis

        I don’t think even Putin expected Trump to win. I think that the main point of their efforts was to undercut Hillary’s presidency by further inflaming right-wing and GOP hatred of her while at the same time dividing and dispiriting Democrats by playing up tensions between Hillary and Bernie supporters.

        Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s actually pissed that Trump won.

        • another_steve

          Trump is Putin’s “useful idiot” (I understand that that’s a term the Russians actually use to describe manipulable puppets like Trump).

          Hillary would not have been a useful idiot for Putin.

    • David L. Caster

      Almost certainly.

    • FAEN

      I discount nothing these days when it comes to the Russians. Nothing.

    • Mike Knife

      US is just paranoid.

      • David L. Caster

        And with good reason in this case—it’s not just the US diplomats that have been harmed.

    • Bingo.

    • Mike Knife

      The CIA does the same thing.

  • crewman

    Do they know the Cubans are doing this? Wouldn’t it be in Russia’s interest to keep us from getting too cozy with Cuba? Sonic death ray has a Cold War feel to it. The kind of weapon I could see the Soviets pouring secret research money into for decades in cold, hidden laboratories.

  • Harveyrabbit

    I went to a KISS concert many years ago. Loudest damn thing I’ve ever heard. Had to leave early. Now THAT was a sonic attack. Wimpy diplomats.

    • JoeMyGod

      Chemical Brothers at the Oakland Coliseum in 1999. I moved as far from the stage as I could be and still be in the building. Still couldn’t take it. Fled halfway through.

    • KarenAtFOH

      Ultrasonic cleaners work by directing so much energy into a water bath that the molecules are ripped apart into bubbles of vapor (cavitation), and when the bubbles collapse on an object, they tear the dirt off. Imagine if that happened inside your ear, only you couldn’t hear it. Just a guess on my part.

      • Harveyrabbit

        Yes but the sound/vibration energy in those cleaners is transferred by direct contact. If the HFreq sound being used by whoever (Russians?) is coming from some sort of transducer/loudspeaker or relatively distant high frequency vibrating object through air then the energy needed to do it would be astronomical. If it were even possible.

        • clay

          It ought to be noticeably large, energy draining (in Havana’s weak electrical grid) or have it’s own generator, and be in the same building.

          • Tulle Christensen

            I have worked with directional high freq sound emitters, (they were at the highest you could hear not ultra sound), but still the emitter would run fine off a car battery for 15 minutes

            They were designed to move your insides and break your eardrums in an arc of about 15 degrees as far as 200 meters away

          • Harveyrabbit

            I have not experienced that sort of sound wave but are they not painful? If these diplomats are supposedly being attacked unawares silently and effectively by ultra HF sound waves then that’s something totally new.

          • Tulle Christensen

            yes very painful if you stand in front of it, behind it you hear almost nothing, as I said different freq, the ultra sound would have different results, but I have to assume the tech would be pretty much the same

          • clay

            (happens while they sleep. Some just woke up with symptoms, some woke “during” but were okay as soon as they got off the bed, and back to horrid when they laid down.)

          • Harveyrabbit

            I suppose it’s possible that there could be some sort of HF vibrating device in the mattress close to one’s head but there would still need to be wires leading to it from the source and you’d think that that would have been investigated.

          • clay

            But that’s too wide a beam for the current situation. Some of these attacks have occurred in hotels, effecting only the bed in one bedroom in one suite on one floor. If the device were not in the building, 15 degrees would be hitting too many people to stay hidden.

          • Tulle Christensen

            so you do not find it plausible some one rented the room next door and turned the power down to limit the range?

          • zhera

            Didn’t some of the attacks happen AT the embassy?

          • clay

            I do find that plausible (in the same building). The problem is that they haven’t found any evidence of that, yet. And they have been looking.

          • Tulle Christensen

            The equipment I worked with would fit in a moderately large suitcase

          • clay

            Yes, but the people renting the adjacent rooms would not. They haven’t found any person(s) to be a suspect, yet.

          • Harveyrabbit

            Problem with the next door thing is that the HF waves would not be able to travel through solid objects like walls or even windows. They are very weak and reflective so it would have to be acoustically transparent material between the transmitter and the person.

          • Tulle Christensen

            Good point I did not think of that

        • Dagoril

          Dr. Frank N. Furter warned us. That transducer, will seduce ya!

    • Joe in PA

      Emerson, Lake and Palmer, I wasn’t far from the speakers…ears rang for days. Ugh. But the good news, my hearing is ok, just tested. 🙂

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmtWExgQYs4

      • Harveyrabbit

        Ooh! One of my favs. Saw them in Montreal, late 70’s. Don’t remember it being unusually loud though. Was so sad to hear of Greg Lake’s passing recently. I love his voice.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWC1lV0O_3k

        • Joe in PA

          That really was a beautiful song. And so different than what I think of with ELP. Thanks.

        • Philly Mike

          Q102 in Philly played this heavily when it first was released. They has Progressive Rock weekends with 1/2 or 1 hour intervals given to a single band or performer and the schedule was published in the paper, I miss Q102.

          • Harveyrabbit

            Not much more than a few university type radio stations do that sort of dedicated musical programming thing and even fewer with progrock. Although I like many types of music I’m an English progrock fan from waaay back. iTunes radio has some stations from the UK that have good prog programming but I find they’re often off the air or they buffer too often to listen to.

            I’ve seen a number of good prog concerts, though not in recent years.. ELP, Genesis, Yes, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Robert Fripp/The League of Gentlemen, Audience, Jethro Tull.. others that I’d need to sit back and think for a while to remember.

            You might enjoy this.. Blodwyn Pig.. An early prog(ish) rock band featuring MIck Abrahams who just before this helped found Jethro Tull. Bluesy/Zeppeliny/rocky in spots but you can really hear the prog influences breaking out in certain songs. It’s one of the very few vinyl albums I still have and is what introduced me to this genre of music.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-VNfg9mg20

      • jerry

        I had problems for 3 weeks this summer after I did pride in NYC…should have known, the ads for the party in the Hammerstein Ballroom bragged about their 100K watt sound system.

  • barrixines

    Ay – Cubans give joo sonic fever.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=walQw5n2Y3Y

  • netxtown

    anywhere the russians can create a snag in the fabric – is a win. Chaos is the goal.

    • netxtown

      of course, the take away is:

      Don’t wear your best stockings when being fucked by a Russian….

  • geoffalnutt

    I could be wrong, but that sonic attack is very Putinesque. We’re now dealing with the Soviet Union-type cold war again. The attack is very 1960s “James Bond”. I think Vlad did a practice run in Cuba. We’re next. (Hope not!)

  • zhera

    I’m wondering if it’s a side effect from some kind of surveillance equipment.

  • John Ruff

    Good. Fuck Cuba! Don’t forget who propped up their gov’t for decades: Russia.

    • Halou

      The improving of US-Cuban relations left Havana asking what possible benefit could there be from approving Russia’s request to reactivate it’s Soviet era military bases on the island nation. Now, because “somebody” has attacked US diplomatic staff and caused a negative reaction from the State Department Havana is left asking what can they do to make sure the US doesn’t go for a more militant reaction. Hmmm.

  • Jonathan Smith

    this just occurred to me…… “more than half of U.S. personnel to leave the island,”
    they acknowledge it’s dangerous, they can’t protect our personnel, and we are STILL leaving them there?

  • Ken M

    Gee, is that 60% of the staff coming home and being unemployed?

  • Hue-Man

    Canadian diplomats and their families affected, too.

    In March, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department began to hear reports about “bizarre” symptoms — headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness, ringing in the ears — affecting a number of its diplomats working in Havana.

    Canadian diplomats and family members were affected in the incidents, suggesting that residences may have been targeted as well as official embassy buildings.

    Possible explanation? “The Canadian diplomat said he suspects some sort of technical mistake in a surveillance operation is the blame rather than a deliberate campaign to target and harm diplomats.”
    https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/09/14/sonic-attacks-in-cuba-target-canadian-and-us-diplomats.html

  • Gigi

    Is this real, or fake news by the Trump administration? Conservatives hate Cuba and were very much opposed to Obama’s efforts to relax restrictions.

  • HZ81

    Call me skeptical. Not of Russians employing attacks, but this administration’s response. We know the right hates that former evil President Blackula reestablished ties with Cuba. The GOP would love nothing more than to sink another Obama administration accomplishment.

    If only they were only concerned about Russian attacks at home. Oddly, no.

  • Ninja0980

    Do they have 100% proof it was the Cubans doing this?

    • Jonathan Smith

      do they have ANY?

  • bambinoitaliano
  • Ken M
    • JDS

      Space Hippies!!!!! Lead by clamshell ears!

      • TexasBoy

        Herbert!

        • Ken M

          I am not Herbert. 😉

  • Natty Enquirer

    Symptoms of exposure to ultrasound, which can be harmful. The question is whether it was a deliberate attack or the result of some error or even a natural phenomenon. In some of these victims, the symptoms may be shared delusion and not real at all.

  • KnownDonorDad

    If this were on InfoWars I’d dismiss it out of hand. So bizarre.

  • JWC

    I do not believve that the US is the only country who has experienced this. I believe about the same time the Canadian embassy reported similar. The US has over reacted in pure Trump knee jerk fashion. I Honestly haven’t heard , beyond investigation , anything on the Canadian side.

  • Longpole

    It’s turning out just like what Linda Ronstadt said;

    Q: What do you think will happen under Donald Trump?

    A: “It’s a genuine national emergency. What he wants is to be in control of the media, and he has an acute instinct for the lowest common denominator – he knows how to go really low. So if we don’t wake up, he could turn us into a dictatorship. I’ve read a lot on the history of Hitler, and people keep drawing comparisons … they’re so staggering – it’s step by step by step. He’s isolating us, he’s taking us out [of contact] with South America, Mexico, Canada … if we get attacked from outside, who’s going to come to our rescue if we’ve isolated ourselves from our neighbours?”

  • TheManicMechanic

    Thanks, Russia. For everything lately. NOT!

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    That’s certainly an ugly building.

  • Willys41

    Cuba has invited the FBI to investigate.

  • HandsomeMrToad

    I call BS. If there were sonic attacks going on, they would be easy to detect and confirm objectively. High-amplitude sound waves are easy to measure.

  • Puck

    So no reports of American tourists being attacked yet trumpey is stopping us from there? Seems very shady!