Press Advisory: 60 minutes links Russia to Havana syndrome, but let us not forget Havana’s complicity

Center for a Free Cuba. Washington DC, April 1, 2024. Last night, the CBS Newsmagazine 60 Minutes tied Russia to the Havana Syndrome. However, it is important to remember that the Cuban dictatorship, a totalitarian state that must have been aware of the situation, approved it, and may have assisted Moscow in its attack on diplomats in Cuba.

On August 9, 2017 spokesperson Heather Nauert in a State Department briefing revealed that two Cuban diplomats were expelled from the United States on May 23, 2017 in response to “incidents in Cuba.”  According to U.S. officials five U.S. diplomats were targeted by a “sonic weapon” that led to “severe hearing loss” that led to some of them canceling their tours and returning early to the United States.

Cuban officials claimed that the sound was caused by crickets, and ridiculed the charge.

Eight years later, a string of attacks that started in 2016 and targeted Canadian and U.S. diplomats stationed at their respective embassies in Havana remain unsolved officially. However, after a five-year investigation, CBS Newsmagazine 60 Minutes concluded that Russia was responsible for the attacks, despite official denials from the US government.

Officials in the Cuban government have also been quick to dismiss the Havana Syndrome, but the record shows that if Russia was testing an acoustic weapon on American and Canadian diplomats stationed in Havana, the Cuban secret police would know about it, report it to their superiors, and approve it. Havana’s role in supporting Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine, including the deployment of Cuban soldiers in Russian uniforms fighting on the front lines, underscores their strategic relationship with Moscow.

“Havana allowing Moscow to test out non-lethal weapons on diplomats should not be a shock. The Cuban dictatorship has a decades long history of harassing American and Canadian diplomats by killing their pets, trying to run them down or crash into their cars and switching out mouthwash with urine. Cuba is a state terror sponsor with a record of supporting terrorist groups that have killed Americans on U.S. soil”, said John Suarez, executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba.