The Cuba Conundrum: Who Is Attacking Our Diplomats and Spies in Cuba?

A few days ago, the State Department announced that it was advising Americans to no longer travel to Cuba, and sent half of its staff at the United States Embassy back home. The reason is the strange and dangerous series of sonic attacks on American diplomats working in the Embassy; also, at least one attack was aimed at a diplomat staying at the famous Capri Hotel, once the homestead of the American mob in the '50s.

Among their problems,” the Washington Post reported, “are hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, balance problems, visual difficulties, headaches, fatigue, cognitive issues and sleeping difficulties.” At least one American suffered brain injury. The State Department said only our diplomats were purposefully targeted for sonic attacks: “Only Americans suffered these problems; Cuban employees working in the Embassy did not.”

It also was reported that the Americans harmed included CIA agents, not simple diplomats. The AP reported, as the Chicago Tribune emphasized, “that U.S. spies were among the first and most severely affected victims” and that “it wasn't until intelligence operatives, working under diplomatic cover, reported bizarre sounds and even stranger physical effects that the United States realized something was wrong.” The incidents began, evidently, soon after Donald Trump’s election.

The big question: just who is responsible? Every Cuba expert knows that Cuban intelligence is perhaps the most organized and effective of all the old Communist dictatorships; they were well-trained by the notorious East German STASI and/or the KGB. We are familiar with their success in plying their spy craft from within our government. Two different Americans who were Cuban spies obtained the most sensitive secrets from both the State Department and the Defense Intelligence Agency. They both gave major top-secret reports to Cuba, which it then could easily, and probably did, send on to other U.S. enemies like Iran.

Ana Montes spied for Cuba as head of the Latin American branch of the Defense Intelligence Agency for sixteen years, until she was arrested on September 21 in 2001. Kendall Meyers spied at the U.S. Department of State for close to 30 years, until he was arrested on June 4, 2009. That both these Cuban spies could reach such top positions in both State and the DIA reveals just how expertly trained Cuban spies are.

As of today, we do not know who is responsible for these new and dangerous attacks on our personnel in Cuba. Raul Castro, the current president of Cuba and his brother Fidel’s successor, has told the United States that Cuba is not responsible, and they will help the FBI if they come to Cuba to investigate the issue. Why would Castro even make such an offer, if his country’s intelligence agency orchestrated the attacks?