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U.S., Cuba meet over mysterious ‘health attacks’

The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Cuba said Thursday the United States is continuing to withhold important information that could help in the investigation into incidents that have injured some two dozen Havana-based American diplomats, including some with brain damage, since late 2016.

After meeting with U.S. officials at the State Department, members of a team Cuba assembled to look into the incidents said their requests for patient records and other information had again been rebuffed and rejected anew after Washington’s assertions that the injuries were caused by targeted attacks.

“The Cuban side is completely unable to support the hypothesis of health attacks and brain damage as reported by the State Department,” said Dr. Mitchell Valdes Sosa, chief of the group of Cuban scientists and physicians. “Nothing was presented that could add up to sustain such a thing.”

Cuba renewed calls for the State Department to release specific medical records and other data about the victims in order for it to be studied.

It also repeated demands that Washington stop referring to the cause of the symptoms as “health attacks” in the absence of definitive proof and denounced reports citing U.S. officials as saying that investigators may be narrowing their suspicions about the cause and culprit behind them.

“The State Department has been treating theories as if they were facts,” said Johana Tablada, a senior Cuban diplomat who led the team.

Thursday’s meeting was held as American authorities search for answers into mysterious “health attacks” that began two years ago in Havana and amid growing frustration among national security agencies and members of Congress about the lack of answers on what and who caused the injuries.

Recent reports have suggested investigators are focusing on the possibility that some sort of microwave device may be responsible and that Russia, which has long had close ties with Cuba, is the leading suspect for the attacks.

But the State Department has denied that any conclusions had been drawn. “We still don’t know the cause, we still don’t know what or who is responsible for health attacks that took place that affected our personnel in Cuba,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Thursday.

She did not address a Cuban request for “a dispassionate examination of health reports of U.S. diplomats in Cuba according to the rules of science,” but said the meeting would “involve private medical information that is coming forth from some of our people.”Speech

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