The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Relations maintains that Cuba fully complies with international norms concerning the physical safety of foreign diplomatic staff in its territory categorically; it denies any responsibility in the affair, and it rejects the U.S. decisions as not founded on evidence. It further maintains that the U.S. Embassy has not provided sufficient details concerning the alleged incidents, in spite of repeated Cuban requests for more information; that the Cuban committee formed to investigate the affair has been denied access to the alleged victims and the doctors who examined them; that the U.S. Embassy in many cases delayed for months the reporting of the incidents, thus undermining the possibility of a serious investigation; and that the Cuban committee has been denied the possibility for interchange with specialists in this type of attack, concerning which Cuba possesses little knowledge. The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Relations insists that it has not been provided a shred of evidence that the acoustic attacks have occurred, nor have been identified possible perpetrators with motives or means for such attacks. Moreover, the Cuban journalist Sergio Alejandro Gómez cites international specialists who assert that a sophisticated “sonic weapon” would not produce the symptoms described; nor could it select some victims in a room, sparing others, as is alleged.
On October 3, the U.S. Department of State also ordered the departure from the United States of fifteen members of the Cuban embassy in Washington. Bruno Rodriquez, Cuban Minister of Foreign Relations, asserts that the expulsion of Cuban diplomats from Washington has nothing to do with the supposed concern of the U.S. government for its diplomatic staff in Cuba. He maintains that the October 3 decision shows the U.S. political motivation behind the entire affair.
There can be no reasonable doubt that Cuba has no interest in attacking the U.S. diplomatic staff, or in tolerating such attacks by third parties. Cuba desires the normalization of relations between the two countries, and any such attacks, if exposed, would seriously undermine this goal. Moreover, the exposure of any attacks against foreign diplomats in Cuba would place Cuban diplomatic staff in other countries at risk. Cuba insists on respect for the 1961 Geneva Convention on Diplomatic Relations, in part, because revolutionary Cuba for many years has been victimized by assassinations, kidnappings, and attacks against its diplomatic staff.
The interest of the Cuban government in respect for international laws and rules can be understood in a more general form. Cuban foreign policy since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution has been based on full respect for international norms and laws, including such principles as the equality and sovereignty of all nations, the non-interference in the affairs of nations, and the right of all nations and peoples to development and to self-determination. Such a policy is fully consistent with the revolutionary goals of the Cuban government, inasmuch as it is has been the neocolonial global powers that consistently have interfered in the affairs of other nations, in violation of their sovereignty, in pursuit of particular economic and political interests. If fundamental international principles were to guide the world-system, popular revolutionary governments would be able to protect their natural and human resources and the sovereignty of their nations, without being subjected to economic sanctions, political interference, military interventions, and ideological attacks. In such a world, popular revolutions have political space.
Driven by its revolutionary goal of contributing to the creation of a world-system guided by norms and values that have been proclaimed formally, but not respected in practice, Cuba has a long history of full respect for international norms. On the other hand, the United States has a long history of distorting facts in order to attain political and economic goals. This hypocritical disrespect for proclaimed values has defined U.S. foreign policy since the end of the nineteenth century, when it entered the stage of imperialism; and it has been more blatant since the 1980s, as the world-system entered sustained structural crisis and the United States began a commercial and economic decline. For anyone with historical consciousness of this U.S. legacy of deceit, it is difficult to believe the U.S. allegations against Cuba, when it provides no evidence.
The U.S. allegations are dismissed completely and universally in Cuba, not only by the government but also among the people, among whom there is consciousness of revolutionary Cuba’s dignified and exemplary behavior with respect to international norms as well as awareness of the U.S. history of deceit and distortion in order to defend economic and political interests. But in the United States, where there is less historical and political consciousness, the allegations of the U.S. government may have some ideological weight. The allegations may have credibility, as a result of misconceptions of Cuba as undemocratic and controlled from above; and as a result of generalized popular fear in the USA of possible high-tech forms of terrorism, always portrayed in movies as in the hands of some unreasonable alien or foreign force.
The Trump administration may be attempting to reduce travel to Cuba, not by establishing further administrative and legal restrictions, but by provoking fear of travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens. If successful, the strategy could lay the groundwork for further sanctions against Cuba, on the fallacious grounds that it is terrorist nation. For the people of the United States, the best defense against this political and ideological maneuver is to develop and disseminate a solid understanding of what the Cuban Revolution really is.
For a greater understanding of the Cuban Revolution, please see my book, The Evolution and Significance of the Cuban Revolution: The light in the darkness.