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Cuban-American tour operator under sonic weapons attack in Havana?

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Marcel Hatch is an American Cuban tour operator living in Havana near the US Embassy. He experiences daily sonic attacks from the magical rhythms of Afrocuban pop, swirling salsa, and dizzying son and rumba.

Does lack of evidence prove lack of existence? Philosophically and scientifically speaking, no. However, when a political accusation is put forward that has the potential to inflict enormous human suffering or ruination of relations between nations, the burden of proof rests on the accuser. That’s how it works in America. Right?

So what about claims by the President of the United States that his diplomatic corps in Havana was attacked by “sonic weapons” of unknown origins resulting in “hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues, difficulty sleeping,” and, according to unnamed officials in the State Department, “permanent brain damage”? Scary as hell.

The problem is no scientist or medical expert in the world, let alone envious weapons developers, says such devices exist that could cause this spectrum of maladies.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

In the absence of any evidence – scientific, medical, or identification of victims – to support Trump’s indictment, probing journalists, scientists and academics are beginning to question whether the “sonic attacks” even took place. Rather than chasing their tails following crumbs from the White House press office, concerned commentators are now demanding proof. Praise be to the earnest journalist.

Business Insider revealed on Thursday that Obama said he knew nothing of the attacks during his term that ended on January 20, 2017. But anonymous sources say the attacks were recorded in November 2016 shortly after Trump’s election win.

On October 5, 2017, the Cuban news daily Granma stated: No credible explanation exists for the various symptoms described by US diplomatic staff, and experts deny the relevance of the laws of physics evoked in some of the theories presented.

The story evolved further this week. In August the victims were just diplomatic employees. Today Time.com tells that many of the zappees were US spies operating out of the embassy in Havana.

The US Chargé d’affaires is still heading the Havana embassy and working hard despite safety concerns, as do other US dedicated diplomatic employees. Call them brave, or a call to duty? Both.

Barbara Stephenson, president of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the union representing 15,000 US diplomats around the world, said her Havana members are against the reduction of embassy staff and are prepared to continue their mission regardless of health concerns real or perceived.

Several facts are irrefutable: Four million people have visited Cuba since November 2016. Six hundred thousand were Americans. Not one has suffered symptoms like those US diplomats are said to have experienced.

Starve them into submission.

President Trump, urged on by anti-Cuba extremist Sen. Marco Rubio, isn’t just reversing Obama overtures to normalization. He is attempting to resuscitate the 58-year-long US goal of toppling the elected government of Cuba and putting island under US hegemony.

On October 19, 1960, president Eisenhower blocked all US exports, including food and medicine, to Cuba. In January 1961 he broke diplomatic relations with Cuba. His objective was to, “bring about hunger, desperation, and the overthrow of the government.”

In February 1962, John F. Kennedy expanded the embargo to include all commerce. One year later he banned travel to Cuba by Americans. Every president up until Obama remained steadfast in this strategy.

Trump and Rubio seek to reclaim the Cold War heritage of the ten presidents that preceded Obama. In their minds, an independent Cuba sets a bad example for other Caribbean and Latin American nations. US foreign policy message: Come to heel or face permanent retribution from Washington. Sovereignty is not an option.

Escalated aggression by the Trump administration

On June 16 this year Trump ended all individual educational visits to Cuba, squashing travel dreams of millions of Americans.

On September 29, Trump evoked his “sonic attack” yarn to indefinitely halt processing of visa requests for Cubans to visit the US, thus adding Cuba to his list of nations whose people are prohibited entry to the US. This mean-spirited ban separates islanders from their families on the mainland.

Trump unilaterally slashed US embassy staff in Havana and Cuban embassy staff in Washington by 60 percent, limiting possibilities for determining the real cause or locating the “sonic attacks” perps if any. The reduction in diplomatic workers harms better bilateral relations supported by a majority of Americans and all Cubans.

Trump issued a Department of State travel warning telling Americans not to visit Cuba as they too might suffer phantom “sonic attacks.” While the entire US travel industry rejects the veracity of the advisory, it dampens Cuba travel. However, most Americans know Trump has little concern for their health and well-being at home or abroad. Many will visit Cuba despite the warning.

Mail service between the US and Cuba is curtailed because the Trump administration requires letters and parcels to be delivered via third countries. Prohibitively expensive.

When US presidents lie millions die

On Friday, Trump said he’s prepared to take “decisive action against communist Cuba and socialist Venezuela to secure peace and prosperity in the Western Hemisphere.” What can this mean, combined with his sonic machinations plot?

Gulf of Tonkin incident. In 1964 Washington claimed that US destroyers came under attack by North Vietnamese forces Gulf of Tonkin. Within days, President Johnson deployed 180,000 military personnel to Vietnam. Over the next decade, the war took the lives of 58,220 US soldiers and 1.35 million Vietnamese. Later Johnson admitted the Tonkin incident was a ruse, “those dumb, stupid sailors were just shooting at flying fish!”

Weapons of Mass Destruction. No weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq in the period leading up to the invasion. The tragedy of G.W. Bush fabrication: Between 150,000 and one million Iraqis died in the war, together with 4,486 American soldiers. The US sanctions against Iraq caused a further 576,000 deaths of Iraqi children from malnutrition and lack of medicines, according to the United Nations.

Trump does not call for an alliance of the willing in his campaign against Cuba and Venezuela. No nation would join. The Trump administration says Cuba did not conduct the attacks against US Embassy staff. For him to suggest otherwise would be met with derision, insults, and outrage from most nations. Trump does not consult his electorate. He knows the vast majority want normalization with Cuba, and an end to the embargo, and freedom to travel.

The embargo is the source of ailment

Trump and Rubio are playing a dangerous game of brinkmanship, threatening regional stability, punishing and hurting innocent Cubans, and adding to unemployment numbers in the US travel industry. Dread to think there is more behind the claims of “sonic attacks” than Trump healthcare concerns for Americans while abroad.

The “sonic attacks” fairy tale springs from aims of the US embargo of Cuba. This piece of legislation is fertile ground in which science fiction as foreign policy finds roots and flourishes. The unfortunate reality remains: US saber-rattling has and can lead to devastating conflagrations.

Rather than chipping away at the lethal US embargo of Cuba – the longest running blockade in human history – it must be sacked entirely. If it were up to the American people to decide they’d end it immediately. In the meantime, we must demand as one hemispheric voice that Trump stop his toxic aggression against Cuba and Venezuela.

It’s time for Trump to show proof of “sonic attacks” in Havana. Trump is also playing with the livelihood of many people in the Cuban travel travel and tourism industry.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.

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