Why are American diplomats falling ill in Cuba?

About 20 Americans working at the United States embassy in Havana, Cuba have suffered with symptoms related to hearing loss, nausea, headaches, ringing ears, concussion, or balance disorders. It is unclear how and why all these people are suffering from these symptoms. Could it be that there are some sonic attacks going on in Havana where high-pitched sound is used to hurt these diplomats? The US government believes that these attacks have been going on since late last year. In May, the US asked two Cuban officials working in the United States to leave because of these attacks on Americans. The Cuban government says it has no knowledge about these attacks and is not involved. It’s a mystery.

Cuba and the United States are separated by just about 100 miles (160 km). However, they’ve not had the best of relationships. In fact, in 1961, the United States broke off diplomatic ties with Cuba. In 1961 and 1962, the United States even tried to overthrow Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro from power, but did not succeed.


Since December 2014, the two countries have been making an effort to become friends again. In 2015, the Embassy of the United States reopened in Havana, the capital of Cuba, and the Cuban Embassy reopened in Washington, DC, the capital of the United States, after having been shut down for 54 years.



Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. Christopher Columbus (image) arrived in Cuba in 1492, and claimed it as a Spanish territory. The U.S. helped Cubans get their independence from Spain in 1898. Cuba was under the U.S. for a brief period of time, and became an independent nation in 1902.

A game Cubans love to play is dominoes. Many people gather and set up tables on the street to play the game.

Image Credits: U.S. Department of State for the image of the American embassy in Cuba, https://travel.state.gov for the map image of Cuba/USA, Metropolitan Museum of Art for the image of Columbus
Sources: https://state.gov, vox, CIA World Factbook