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The mysterious “Havana syndrome”: 20 cases at the US embassy in Vienna force the White House to take the issue seriously

Between 2016 and 2017, more than twenty workers at the US Embassy in Havana suffered a wide range of symptoms ranging from headaches and nausea to hearing loss. As if they had suffered a sudden concussion, only no trace of it. Something was going on, but no one knew what. Washington retired 60% of its staff in 2017 and began investigating.


A vaudeville called Havana Syndrome

Vainly Fearing that they had been victims of an unknown attack, several investigation teams analyzed the cases and proposed different theories. Neither seemed to make much sense. And, while skepticism gained weight, the cases were happening. Some in the very heart of the Empire, at the gates of the White House.

The White House gets serious However, no substantial change has occurred in recent years. The White House seemed as lost as the rest of the scientists who have approached the case. So far: The Biden Administration has asked all members of the White House security forces to immediately move away from any place where they begin to feel pressure, sound or sink in the head. Symptoms of the “Havana syndrome”.

The thing is not there. According to McClatchy, the US government has asked its diplomatic corps, the armed forces, and the security agencies to report any abnormal health incidents. Additionally, Pentagon staff were instructed to report any strange and sudden symptoms. The US has become serious and has proposed to act more quickly to discover what is behind a problem that, despite everything, still has no clear explanation.

What has changed? Vienna has changed. The US government acknowledged in July that it was investigating a series of incidents involving its diplomats and officials in the Austrian capital. The parallelism with what happened in Havana between 2016 and 2017 was more than evident. It appears that since Biden’s arrival to the presidency, more than 20 US officials in Vienna have presented symptoms similar to those that originally occurred in Cuba.

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In search of an explanation that may not exist “We need to believe our staff that he is showing up,” explained a senior administration official a few days ago. And he is right: the alternative to exhaustively seeking an explanation is the implicit recognition by the White House that its workers abroad are suffering from successive and insistent outbreaks of mass hysteria. Something that, although it has been put on the table, does not seem to be among the plans]of Biden’s team: the last one who raised it was fired.

Image | Max bovkun