Several U.S. diplomats were seriously injured — with some suffering permanent hearing loss — from a mysterious sonic device that the communist Cuban government planted, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
A number of American diplomats began suffering from unexplained hearing loss in the fall of 2016, the story noted. Several of the diplomats even had to return home early from their tours, due to the severity of their injuries.
“After months of investigation, U.S. officials concluded that the diplomats had been exposed to an advanced device that operated outside the range of audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residences,” The Post reported. “It was not immediately clear if the device was a weapon used in a deliberate attack, or had some other purpose.”
In response, the U.S. retaliated in May by expelling two Cuban diplomats from the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C., State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. The dark turn of events is yet another indictment of former President Barack Obama’s failed foreign policy.
“This exemplifies the entirely flawed premises of Obama’s foreign policy,” Robert Kaufman, a professor at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy and author of “Dangerous Doctrine: How Obama’s Grand Strategy Weakened America,” told LifeZette.
“Obama believed we should engage our most dangerous adversaries while putting distance between the United States and its democratic allies,” he added. “This is dangerous nonsense, morally and geopolitically.”
The Obama administration announced the reestablishment of formal diplomatic ties with the communist dictatorship on July 1, 2015. “Americans and Cubans alike are ready to move forward,” Obama said in the Rose Garden at the White House at the time.
Clearly, however, the news about the U.S. diplomats shows that the Cubans were not nearly as ready to move forward as President Obama seemed to believe. In June, President Trump slammed Obama’s Cuba outreach and encouragement of tourism to the communist country for enriching that dictatorship.
“The profits from investment and tourism flow directly to the military. The regime takes the money and owns the industry. The outcome of the last administration’s executive action has only been more repression and a move to crush the peaceful, democratic movement,” said President Trump in June.
“We should never have recognized Castro’s tyranny in the first place,” said Kaufman. “The [Trump] administration was right to banish the two Cuban embassy officials pending a determination that the Cubans are responsible, which is likely but not certain.”
Cuban officials have denied responsibility for any hearing-targeted actions against the U.S. diplomats.
(photo credit, homepage image: Marco Zanferrari, Flickr)