HAVANA, May 3rd. Cuba’s allies Russia, China and Iran are sinister anti-American actors on the world stage.
To think that these governments, with whom we have sketchy to no relations, and the post-Fidel Castro, hardliner Cuban regime now in place would cooperate — truthfully — with a U.S. intelligence investigation is infantile and ignores history.
I believe the injured American and Canadian diplomats, who told the Herald they feel betrayed by a newly released intelligence report casting doubt on what they experienced while serving in Cuba — despite symptoms and a debilitating illness that persist.
“Havana Syndrome” was real, for most likely political reasons, not some psycho-drama. Now we’re back to speculating about it for the umpteenth time.
No one in the suspect countries would dare confess to targeting and injuring U.S. and Canadian diplomats, spies and their families during President Obama’s rapprochement — a time of unprecedented post-1959 American presence and influence on the island.
But someone did cause them harm. Of course, Cuba and its friends I mentioned — Russia, China and Iran — had motives to act or to aid perpetrators. What better way to end an American invasion of culture, free thought — and the intelligence gathering that results from such contact and dries up without it — than with an attack that no one has been able to fully explain?
One significant outcome is certain: Whoever injured the Americans accomplished the goal. The United States retreated from its nascent friendly relationship with Cuba and called home most of its embassy staff.
It became too dangerous to live in Havana when so-called “sonic attacks” caused neurological injury to the brain, hearing loss, and a host of idiopathic symptoms, such as disorientation.
No, I don’t suddenly believe — over the testimony of diplomats and the medical experts who treated them and studied their cases — a U.S. intelligence report seeking to neatly wrap up with a pretty bow the spy vs. spy episode.
TIMING OF INVESTIGATION
For one, the timing is just too convenient.
The Biden administration opens travel and enters into negotiations with Cuba — its hand forced by the political fallout of record-breaking immigration via sea and the southern border — and the intelligence community concludes that it can’t link any cases to foreign adversaries.
Only a year ago, a panel of scientific experts working for the same U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that the mysterious brain injuries could be caused by pulsed electromagnetic energy delivered by an external device.
Last week, diplomats who spoke to the Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald’s Cuba reporter, Nora Gámez Torres, feel the no-blame declaration dismisses what happened to them, the proverbial sweeping uncomfortable circumstances under the rug.
Their injuries, studied by the respected University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania, are tangible enough. And the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center held a wide-ranging symposium on the subject in 2022.
Havana Syndrome victims dispute report dismissing their cases.
VICTORY FOR CUBA HARDLINERS
The end of the normalized relations between the United States and Cuba benefited only one sector of the Cuban regime and its foreign allies.
With the power vacuum created by the U.S. withdrawal, the bad actors made public appearances in Cuba and “retiring” Raúl Castro installed the dictatorship’s chosen heir, Miguel Díaz-Canel, in the presidency.
His regressive, oppressive rule was a blow to the island’s reformers and a clear victory for the hardliners who never wanted friendly relations with the United States — and the openness that came with it. Right to the Point Right to the Point connects you with center-right and conservative perspectives.
Remember the scene in Havana during Obama’s era? Balconies decorated with both the Cuban flag and Old Glory.
People openly wear the American flag on their T-shirts and wrapped around their bodies. Ordinary Cubans made money and were no longer dependent on the state. Polling showed that Obama was more popular than Raúl Castro. Fidel Castro, still alive, wasn’t having any of it.
He penned an anti-Obama reflection in the state newspaper, Granma. And then, the ultimate blow: U.S. diplomats were injured. After the attacks became a worldwide scandal, Canadian victims, too, turned up. Can’t be an anti-American thing when Cuba’s forever friend is also targeted. Soon enough, diplomats in other parts of the world also reported symptoms.
Reads like sophomoric stuff in a bad movie script.
The only surprising thing is the ineptitude of both the Trump and Biden administrations in dealing with the subject. Make up your mind, spooks.
RESTORATION OF RELATIONS
So far, President Biden hasn’t made any pronouncements about relations with Cuba. But a thawing is in the works, as evidenced by the Communist Party’s state-owned baseball team playing in Miami, the capital of exiles, during that March World Baseball Classic semifinal, which the United States won 14-2.
It was a historic first since the revolution’s triumph.
During the Obama years, there was bipartisan support for normalcy between the two countries. There are some now, as well. Sixty-some years of isolation have proven to be mostly of benefit to the Cuban oppressors. No need for a non-nonsensical spies’ report rewriting history.