Cuba plays dumb in attacks on American diplomats

From the Washington PostA CENTRAL premise of President Barack Obama’s initiative to open relations with Cuba was that more U.S. engagement would lead to change on the island. Change is certainly needed, but recent events suggest that the unpleasant reality of Fidel Castro’s dictatorship remains in place, even in the twilight of rule by his 86-year-old brother Raúl.

Twenty-one U.S. diplomats in Cuba have reported being hit with unexplained illnesses, including hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, visual difficulties, headaches, fatigue and cognitive, balance and sleeping difficulties. Some accounts have attributed the illnesses to strange “sonic” attacks that surfaced 10 months ago. Originally described by the State Department as an “incident,” they are now being called an “attack,” and Post staff writer Carol Morello reports that U.S. officials say specific Americans were targeted, that the assaults are ongoing and that they occurred in at least one case in a Havana hotel. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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