Melanie Joly

Global Affairs warns diplomats to watch for so-called ‘Havana Syndrome’

eAwaz Canada News

OTTAWA – Canada’s foreign ministry has advised staff working in its embassies abroad to watch for Havana syndrome symptoms after unexplained health incidents among diplomats in Cuba and US personnel in various countries.

In September, Global Affairs Canada began briefings with senior managers at headquarters in Ottawa, all heads of mission abroad and partners from other federal departments working at embassies, says a newly disclosed briefing note.

On Oct. 7, a broadcast message to all Global Affairs staff was issued, outlining the symptoms and how to report concerns, prepared in November for Melanie Joly, who had just been sworn in as Canada’s latest foreign affairs minister.

Canadian diplomats and family members posted to Havana, Cuba, have reported difficulties since 2017, including headaches, loss of memory, inability to concentrate, cognitive and vision problems, noise sensitivity, dizziness, nausea, sleep disturbances, mood changes and nosebleeds. Fifteen Canadians have received a confirmed working diagnosis of “acquired brain injury,” Global Affairs says.

Source: The Canadian Press