The term “Havana syndrome” has become relevant again. Only in the period after Joe Biden came to power, since January this year, 20 cases of incomprehensible ailment have been recorded among American diplomats and intelligence officers in Vienna.
At least twenty employees of the American embassy in the Austrian capital complained of dizziness, hearing problems, and severe headaches. The United States authorities are investigating, but the cause has not yet been discovered, writes New Yorker magazine.
Yesterday, Der Spiegel reported that the manifestations of the so-called “Havana syndrome” were first discovered among those working in the US diplomatic mission in Vienna shortly after Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, and the last complaints were received the day before yesterday, July 16. Multiple cases of the appearance of incomprehensible symptoms prompted the involvement of US Department of Health experts and CIA officers in the investigation.
Havana syndrome was first detected in Cuba in 2016 and 2017, when 19 employees of the American embassy in Havana were injured. It manifested itself with numerous symptoms – cognitive impairment, severe headaches, loss of balance, and a sharp decrease in hearing. After the examination, the diagnosis was as follows: minor injuries and cerebral edema. The initial assumption of acoustic attacks has not been sufficiently substantiated.
Simultaneously with the discovery of a mysterious disease in Cuba, casualties were reported at the Canadian embassy. Then, in 2017, American diplomats in Guangzhou, China, complained about similar concerns. The geography of the location of the diplomatic institutions of the United States, whose employees suffered from the Havana syndrome, gradually expanded – Poland, Russia, Australia, Taiwan, the Middle East, several European countries. The total number of victims is 130 people, including diplomats, members of their families, military personnel, and CIA officers.
Over the past 5 years, the reasons for the incomprehensible manifestations have not been established, although different hypotheses have been put forward. For example, The New York Times in 2018 suggested microwave radiation with the participation of the special services of the Russian Federation. A year later, in 2019, neurotoxins in anti-mosquito pesticides were named as the reason – this version was put forward by the British Center for Brain Recovery and the Canadian Health Administration for Nova Scotia. And in 2020, the assumption was made about directed radio frequency radiation, as NASEM – the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine believed. Among other hypotheses is a massive psychogenic illness.
According to the newspaper Die Presse, the US Embassy is redirecting requests for Havana Syndrome in Vienna, which has become the second after Havana hotbed of the mysterious disease, to Washington. The US State Department reports:
We take reports of ailments from our employees very seriously. At the moment, we do not know the reason, there is no indication of whether foreign actors were involved in the incidents. An active investigation is underway.
With reference to the New Yorker magazine, Die Presse newspaper notes that the American embassy in Bolzmanngasse, the ninth district of Vienna, is well guarded, there are security gates and high gratings, metal detectors and concrete blocks. Nevertheless, there is a problem, a solution to which must be found as soon as possible.