Ottawa is considering slashing its embassy staff in Havana by half after a new case of a diplomat suffering from a mysterious ailment causing dizziness, nausea and possible ear damage was reported on Wednesday.
The unidentified diplomat has become the 14th person in Canada’s Cuban embassy to fall victim to the illness, the origins of which are still shrouded in mystery.
The diplomat fell ill on December 29, displaying the same concussion-like symptoms as his previously affected colleagues.
The staff of Canada’s embassy in Cuba began falling ill after hearing loud piercing sounds beginning in early 2017, just like their American counterparts.
The majority of the cases took place in 2017, and more than a year passed before the 13th case was reported in November. At that time, the Canadian government said that it had decided to allow embassy employees in Cuba to leave for Canada if they wished.
After this latest case, the Canadian government may decrease the embassy staff from its current 16 people to 8.
The remaining staff would provide full consular services, but some non-essential programs will be reviewed and potentially phased out in the coming weeks.
The mysterious health troubles pursuing American and Canadian diplomats in Cuba, which at one point prompted both countries to order employees’ families to leave the Caribbean island, have been the subject of much speculation.
The FBI said last January that it found “no evidence” of futuristic sonic attacks, which long had been rumored as the number one suspect in the case.
A study released earlier this month said the noises, which victims of the bizarre impairment complained about, seem to be nothing but insects chirping.
The Cuban government, which maintains that foreign diplomats are not being targeted by anyone on its soil, has slammed Canada’s intent to downsize its mission and accused Ottawa of feeding into the anti-Cuban hysteria in the USA.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2019.