U.S. government personnel in Havana report “incidents” causing physical symptoms

U.S. government personnel in Havana report "incidents" causing physical symptomsHAVANA, August 9th (CBS) The U.S. State Department confirms that “some” U.S. government personnel in Havana on official duty have reported “incidents which have caused a variety of physical symptoms.”

A spokesperson for the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs says the department does not have “definitive answers on the source or cause of the incidents.”

“What this requires is providing medical examinations to these people, initially when they started reporting what I will just call ‘symptoms,’ it took time to figure out what it was,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said on Wednesday. “We’re monitoring it.”

Nauert told reporters that while the “incident” appears to have only affected State Department employees and not private U.S. citizens in Cuba, “we don’t have any definitive answers about the source or the cause of what we consider to be incidents.”

On May 23, the State Department took punitive action and asked two officials accredited to the Embassy of Cuba to depart the United States. Those officials have left the country.

The State Department says it has reminded the Cuban government of its obligations under the Vienna Convention to protect U.S. diplomats and says it’s taking these incidents “very seriously” and is “working to determine the cause and impact of the incidents.”

There were no additional details about the symptoms.

The State Department referred CBS News to the FBI, which has offered no comment.