Any concern, real or feigned, for the health of diplomats voiced when the mystery illness story began has given way to a stepped up campaigns by the Trump administration to ramp up attacks on Cuba and make it difficult or impossible for Cubans to come to the U.S. or for Americans to go to Cuba. The sidelining of the U.S. embassy in Cuba, pictured above, is a major impediment to restoration of normal relations. | Desmond Boylan/AP
President Obama on December 17, 2014 announced a U.S. opening to Cuba. Months later there was a U.S. embassy in Havana. Beginning in late 2016, however, some diplomats there –CIA agents among them – experienced strange noises, hearing loss, headaches, impaired memory, confused thinking, dizziness, impaired vision and more. Expressing safety concerns, the State Department in September, 2017 recalled most of its employees from its Embassy in Cuba.
Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel, left, smiles with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro during the closing ceremony of the Sao Paulo Forum at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, July 28, 2019. | Ariana Cubillos / AP
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was joined by his Cuban counterpart Miguel Díaz-Canel Sunday as they issued a rallying cry for regional unity “to confront the onslaught of U.S. imperialism.”
The pair were among the speakers at the closing ceremony of the 25th Sao Paolo Forum in Caracas, which coincided with celebrations marking the 65th anniversary of the birth of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who died in 2013.