What is Havana Syndrome?

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An act of war, a secret form of communist surveillance or simply just all in the mind?

  • “Havana Syndrome” first emerged in Cuba during 2016. The first cases were CIA officers and US diplomats in the region; eventually there were 26 individuals who had experienced some form of symptoms.
  • The first symptom described is often a sound similar to “buzzing”, “grinding metal” or even “piercing squeals”. Later symptoms can include nausea, headaches, dizziness and other unexplained symptoms.
  • Although the cause has not yet been totally identified, an evolving base of evidence suggests that purposefully directed microwaves are the most likely cause of symptoms.
  • However, reported cases did not remain isolated within Cuba and within the five years since initial reports in 2016, hundreds of accounts have popped up worldwide.
  • Severe cases have also been detected with US foreign workers based in Russia and China. People have argued such locations point to this being a technology linked to communism.
  • The Russian government has firmly denied the claims, describing them as an expression of “Russophobia”.
  • Although Havana Syndrome is a top national security priority in the US and has been for almost half a decade, there is no definitive answer as to what the actual cause is and who is responsible.
  • If the current theory is correct, then such an attack could be perceived as an act of war from Russia towards the US which could lead to future escalation and tension of relations.
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5 articles on this topic


‘Havana syndrome ’ and the mystery of the microwaves

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AP News

Cuban scientists say no evidence of attacks on diplomats

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