From the Sonic to the Cynical

By Francisco Arias Fernández on February 12, 2021

An interim report of the Operational Technology Division of the FBI, issued on June 4, 2017, and cited months afterward by the Associated Press, stated that this department had not found any proof whatsoever of the supposed “sonic attacks” against U.S. diplomatic personnel in Cuba, after months of investigations and four trips to Havana.

The report adds: “The conclusions of the U.S. investigators agree with those of the Cuban Committee of Experts who conducted an exhaustive investigation of the supposed incidents, as directed by the highest levels of the Cuban government.” The preliminary conclusions of the investigation carried out by Cuba, which were published in Mesa Redonda in October 2017, made clear that it had been proven that there was NO evidence indicating the occurrence of the alleged acoustic attacks.

It has not been possible to establish investigative hypotheses concerning the origin of these incidents, which by their nature are entirely sensory and leave no traces or signs, an aspect supported by the representatives of the specialized U.S. agencies who traveled to Cuba.

Nor has it been possible to identify any possible perpetrators or persons with motivation, intention, or means to carry out this type of actions.  In the work done by the team of Cuban researchers and the information contributed by U.S. officials, no occurrence of suspicious persons or means in the areas where this was supposed to have taken place or in surrounding areas has been established.

After an expert technical analysis of the sound-related samples provided by the United States, the team of doctors and Cuban scientists certified the impossibility of these having caused the health alterations described by the diplomats.

There is no evidence of the existence anywhere in the country of any sound-emitting apparatus such as that described by the U.S. No intentions, plans, or introduction of this sort of equipment into the territory of Cuba across any air or sea border has been found.

The Cuban panelists indicated that the results obtained by the U.S. government agencies coincide with their own in that they find no cause to allege that we are experiencing an attack or aggression of this nature.

A Pretext for Breaking Relations or the First Great Lie

After the disrespectful and offensive comments by Donald Trump on the occasion of the death of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, in a speech which was anti-Cuban from beginning to end, made in Miami; during his commitment to the anti-Cuban mafia and their main henchmen in the U.S. Congress, and his big talk against what was achieved by the Barack Obama administration toward re-establishing normal relations having been “a bad deal”; after the rhetoric copied from Marco Rubio and his gang – suddenly the “Sonic Maine”*  appeared on the scene to begin the sequence of hostile and virulent political actions directed against Cuba.

With hate, but without evidence, Washington took unilateral measures to withdraw most of its diplomats from Cuba, paralyzing the visa-issuing process in Havana.  At the same time they demanded the removal of 17 Cuban diplomatic personnel in the U.S., while a Congressional hearing was plotted, directed and organized by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who, as the Associated Press revealed, “planned to manipulate the situation to dismantle the few advances made in establishing in bilateral links.”

Professor Philip Brenner, of American University, evaluated at the time that the government of Cuba had no responsibility for the health problems reported by the North American diplomats, and that, after news of this was made public, it simply became an opportunity for those in the U.S. who favored a “hard-line” and breaking any connections. The U.S. expert believes that when Marco Rubio and other legislators became aware of the “Sonic Maine*,” they took advantage of it to advance their interests in US policy toward Cuba.

Others have speculated that this may have been a premeditated operation to effect the dismantling of the Obama policy, a version totally consistent with the ambitions of the ultra-right legislator and that the sloppiness, now shown by a recently declassified document, may attest to the desperation to take advantage of the false news, magnified and globalized in a matter of seconds, to make victims of the diplomats and attack Cuba, making use of a super-sensitive subject as a pretext, with the unscrupulousness characteristic of Trump’s closest advisors.

The Wreck of an Infamous Lie

This week, a document declassified by the State Department uncovers the errors and excesses of the Trump regime’s processes regarding the presumed “sonic attack” in Havana and rebukes the closing of the embassy, considering this a political response plagued by bad processes, lack of coordination, and failure to carry out appropriate procedures.

The secret document reveals that Trump made the decision to reduce Havana diplomatic personnel by 60% and deactivate, for all practical purposes, the functioning of the embassy without having any proof at all that Cuba was behind the mysterious health problems that afflicted these officials.

“The mechanism of the cause of these problems is still unknown.  We do not know the motive of these incidents, nor when they may have actually begun, nor who did this,” states an internal report of the State Department, redacted in 2018, after four months of work, according to an article published in the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

The document questions ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for not having appointed a high-level official to take over-all responsibility of the investigation, and also criticizes the “excessive secrecy” of the CIA for not sharing information with the State Department, which delayed the coordination of an adequate response. It claims that the U.S. reaction was deficient since it was “characterized by lack of high-level leadership, ineffectiveness of communication, and systemic disorganization.”

“The decision to reduce embassy personnel in Havana does not seem to have followed the standard State Department procedures and was not preceded or followed by any formal analysis of the risks and benefits of continued physical presence of U.S. government employees in Havana,” the report indicates.

The Spanish newspaper comments that “evidence of dirty business continues to accumulate around Trump’s Modus Operandi to trap Cuba and get rid of Obama’s policies, just weeks after his much-criticized decision to include Cuba on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism just days before leaving the White House.”

The anti-Cuban mafia in the U.S. refuses to give up their hysterical obsession with placing obstacles in every direction in order to set mines on the roads to normal civilized relations between the two countries, making up new provocations and pretexts, utilizing the mechanisms of subversion and genocide. Meanwhile, the truth is coming to the surface and there is a growing chorus of voices asking the Biden administration to take immediate measures to normalize bilateral relations.

On February 10, just last Wednesday, 56 organizations, including groups of attorneys, human rights groups, religious organizations, Cuban-American groups, environmental organizations and academic and business associations, sent a letter to the Biden-Harris administration, urging them to take immediate measures to fulfill the campaign promise to reverse the failed policies of Trump, which continue to do harm to Cubans and their families. Recently Ines Pohl, a correspondent for the German broadcasting service Deutsche Welle in Washington, and an eyewitness to the Trump speech inciting the insurrection and assault on the Capitol, commented on the dimensions and impact of lies in the four years of the outgoing administration.  She stated categorically, “The events of January 6 did not come out of the blue. They did not happen by chance. They were the inevitable consequence of a four-year presidency characterized by tantrums rather than truth, a presidency that was fueled by his mostly white supporters’ hatred of ‘the other’.”

During four years, Donald Trump prepared the ground for the assault on the Capitol with lies and agitation. His policy toward Cuba, also poisoned by bad advice and advisers, came from the same source.

Yesterday Cuban Minister of Foreign Relations Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla was explicit in a message transmitted on social media: “A genuine declassification of information about the alleged incidents affecting the health of U.S. diplomats will allow us to know just how far Trump, Pompeo, and Marco Rubio were willing to go to artificially justify a retreat from bilateral relations.” And he concluded, “Some day it will be possible to clarify what happened and what didn’t happen. Cuba reiterates our willingness to cooperate in an effective way, both politically and scientifically, to find a solution to this affair.”

*The mentioning of the Maine is in reference to the explosion of the USS Maine in the harbor of Havana in 1898 that was used as a justification to declare war against Spain even though it was never proven that Spain was responsible.

Source: Granma, translation Resumen Latinoamerica, North America bureau