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The American embassy in Colombia is investigating several cases of the so-called “Havana syndrome”, as the strange attacks against American diplomats in several countries around the world are known, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
The revelation comes a few days before the visit to the South American country by the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, according to the newspaper, which cites several internal mails from the embassy in Bogota.
The first of these internal mails dates from mid-September and another message sent on October 1 alerted of “additional anomalous health incidents”, the official way of referring to this condition, according to the newspaper.
The “Havana syndrome”, whose origin is unknown, causes symptoms similar to those of brain injuries, dizziness, headaches and lack of ability to concentrate.
Blinken is scheduled to make his first visit to Colombia on October 20, to participate in the High Level Dialogue between the two countries.
Asked about reports of these alleged new cases in Colombia, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said she would not confirm “reports (about individual cases).”
“What we do is take very seriously every report that comes to us,” she said at her daily press briefing.
Psaki asserted, however, that President Joe Biden’s administration has “stepped up efforts” to determine the causes of the “Havana syndrome.”
Just last week, Biden signed legislation dubbed the “Havana Act”, which establishes that the government has an obligation to help those who have suffered these mysterious “attacks”.
The victims have been asking for years for more help from the government, first from Donald Trump’s administration (2017-2021) and then from Biden’s own.
More than 200 American diplomats posted to different countries have suffered symptoms of the so-called “Havana syndrome”, according to the aforementioned newspaper.
The origin and the person responsible for these mysterious “attacks” is still unknown, although some experts suggest that radiofrequency energy could have been used to perpetrate them.
In addition to Cuba, where the first cases were detected in 2016 and 2017, there have been similar incidents in China, Austria, Germany and even in Washington; and in September, the Government began investigating another similar event that affected an advisor to CIA Director Bill Burns during a trip to India.
Trump accused in 2017 the Government of Cuba of being responsible for what the authorities then qualified as “acoustic” or “sonic” attacks.