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Canadian Diplomat in Cuba is 13th Affected by Mysterious Ailment - Ottawa

© AFP 2023 / YAMIL LAGETourists visit the Old Havana, on December 16, 2015
Tourists visit the Old Havana, on December 16, 2015 - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Yet another Canadian diplomat working in the country's embassy in the Cuban capital has experienced 'unusual health symptoms', which has put the number of the embassy staff members affected by the mysterious ailment at 13 people, the Canadian Foreign Ministry said.

'Medical testing confirmed that an additional employee [of the Canadian embassy in Cuba] has been affected. The individual is receiving the necessary medical attention. This incident brings the total number of confirmed cases of affected Canadian diplomats and dependents from 12 to 13', the ministry said in a statement published on its official website.

The ministry noted that it was yet unclear what caused the unusual symptoms and the government was continuing its investigation into the case.

'In light of this new information, a decision has been made to allow staff currently posted to Cuba to return to Canada, if they wish', the ministry said.

According to the ministry, the country's authorities currently have no reason to believe that Canadians arriving in Cuba could be at risk.

READ MORE: US Embassy in Cuba Will Operate With Minimum Personnel Beginning March 5 — DoS

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The unusual symptoms were first reported by the embassy employees last year but no new cases had been registered since the fall of 2017. According to the Canadian Foreign Ministry, the diplomats experienced headaches, dizziness, and difficulties with concentration. Moreover, the symptoms remained even after some of the embassy staff left Havana and in some cases, the symptoms reappeared after seeming to have lessened.

Canadian Embassy employees are not the only ones who have been showing the strange symptoms. In 2017, the US authorities said that some of the diplomats working at the US Embassy in Cuba had been affected by a mysterious audio device and displayed symptoms similar to the ones shown by Canadian Embassy staff.

The Cuban Foreign Ministry has denied any Cuban involvement in the incidents.

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