The first reports of U.S. and Canadian diplomats in Havana being stricken with ear ringing, dizziness, and severe fatigue, dubbed the “Havana Syndrome,” resulted in a series of botched investigations into the source of the illness by the Trump administration. There have been a number of theories about the source of what some experts now believe may have been a psychotronic weapon emitting pulsed radio frequency/microwave bursts directed at the U.S. and Canadian embassies and diplomatic housing areas in Havana. These bursts resulted in the targets suffering from the Frey effect, which manifests itself with ringing, buzzing, grinding, or clicking auditory sensations.
This is named for Allan H. Frey, the former General Electric Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University scientist who originally discovered the effect. He was interviewed in 2018 about it by The New York Times at his home in suburban Washington, DC. Frey told the newspaper that federal investigators interviewed him about the Havana Syndrome and he agreed with the prevailing view at the time within the Trump administration about Russian and Cuban government involvement. He was quoted also as saying “Cubans aligned with Russia, the nation’s longtime ally, might have launched microwave strikes in attempts to undermine developing ties between Cuba and the United States.”
However, the Cuban government would have had no interest in severing relations with the U.S. that had been restored by President Obama after a 60-year freeze in diplomatic relations. And why would Russia have sought a confrontation with their first intelligence asset, one Donald Trump, sitting at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office? The party that would have had a motive and means to fracture U.S.-Cuban relations was the exile community in Miami that has become a virtual “nation within a nation” and which has a documented history of carrying out terrorist attacks against innocent people, including Americans.
In December 2020, after Trump’s defeat in the November election and during a chaotic transition period, an expert committee of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released its report on the Havana Syndrome. The study, which had been commissioned by the State Department, concluded: “Overall, directed pulsed RF energy . . . appears to be the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases among those that the committee considered.”
There have been a number of potential culprits named as being behind the microwave attacks, ranging from malevolent aggression by Russian or Cuban military intelligence to benign calling sounds made by the West Indies short-tailed cricket. But the most likely suspect is the right-wing Cuban community in south Florida.
The Cuban exile community has a history of carrying out terrorist attacks to further its political aims, which, above all else, is the overthrow of the government of Cuba. In such efforts, the Cuban exiles have had a documented history of cooperation with U.S. intelligence, military and other officials at high levels who share similar goals.
This is well-documented, including by the “Operation Northwoods” plan for deadly false flag attacks that certain U.S. authorities wanted to foment, then blame on Fidel Castro in order to justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba. The plan was approved in March 1962 by all members of the Defense Department’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and sent to the secretary of defense. But President Kennedy rejected it and reassigned Joint Chiefs Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer to a post in Europe. Author James Bamford first revealed the scheme for a U.S.-sponsored terror attack on the nation’s own citizens in his 2001 book Body of Secrets, based on declassified documents and other sources.
In 1974, Cuban exiles in the United States were responsible for 45 percent of all terrorist bombings around the world. The Cuban exiles executed another spate of deadly bombings in 1976. That year, the Cuban Nationalist Movement (CNM), which was based in New Jersey, assisted the intelligence service of Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet in the car bombing assassination of former Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier and his American assistant, Roni Moffitt, on Sheridan Circle in downtown Washington, DC.
Also in 1976, Miami-based Cubans were involved in the bombing of Cubana de Aviación Flight 455, a Douglas DC-8, that had just taken off from Bridgetown, Barbados and was en route to Jamaica. The bomb killed everyone on board, including children and the entire Cuban fencing team.
During the 1970s, Cuban exiles, who were mainly based in Miami, had carried out 113 bombings on U.S. soil, killing some dozen people. The Cuban exiles, therefore, had the motive to carry out a psychotronic attack against the U.S. embassy in Havana, beginning in December 2016, to provide the incoming Trump administration with a reason to freeze U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba. The Cuban exiles, along with their expat Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, and Colombian allies, maintained a mutual support network to conduct overt and covert actions against Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, which they had branded as a Marxist troika in Latin America.
But, what about the expats’ means to carry out a psychotronic attack in Havana? In 2008, the Sierra Nevada Corporation of Sparks, Nevada, a longtime CIA contractor, began development of MEDUSA, or “Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio,” a microwave weapon designed to transmit short microwave pulses. These pulses cause tissue to rapidly heat up and result in a shockwave inside a target’s skull that is detected by the ears. More than a single pulse produces sounds in the ears. These effects, which emanate from the brain and not through the ears, which can even be heard by deaf people, describe most of the symptoms suffered by the U.S. and Canadian diplomats in Havana, including extreme discomfort, and, in some cases, incapacitation. There can also be long term health effects caused by weapons like MEDUSA. U.S. diplomats in Havana reported suffering from nausea, severe migraine headaches, fatigue, vertigo, hearing loss, and sleeplessness.
The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Energy Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, had originally received a patent for a “Psychological Warfare” microwave weapon in 2002, with an improved modification patent being awarded the following year in 2003. Initial research on the weapon involved expat scientists from Russia and Ukraine, which raises some red flags in itself when considering the close links between Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, and other Trump administration officials and Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs. In 2019, it was reported that the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau in Dnipro, Ukraine had delivered to the King Abdul-Aziz Scientific and Technological Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia the blueprints for a pulsed electromagnetic radiation generator. The proliferation of such weapons had gone from a trickle to a downpour.
Had the Cuban exile community been able to gain possession of such technology why would they have used it on U.S. and Canadian diplomats in Havana? The right-wing activists, with their history of terrorist attacks, would have been able to kill two birds with one stone. First, the far-right extremists in the Trump administration, who, in early 2017, included Steve Bannon, Mike Flynn, Sebastian Gorka, Stephen Miller, Peter Navarro, and others would have immediately pushed for a freeze in relations with Cuba by blaming it for the attacks. And that is exactly what occurred. As far as Canada was concerned, the exiles may have seen an opportunity to drive a wedge in Ottawa’s relations with Havana, especially when considering that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s parents had been close friends of Fidel Castro.
The fact that the Trump administration dragged its feet on initially investigating the true cause of the injuries sustained by American diplomats in Havana attests to the fact that it never wanted the actual perpetrators caught, since that might lead right back to the Oval Office. The FBI failed to conduct an adequate investigation of the attacks and the State Department, Pentagon, and CIA appeared to have thrown their hands up as far as finding a cause.
From the outset, the State Department’s handling of the diplomats’ injuries was botched. A University of Pennsylvania Center for Brain Injury and Repair study, commissioned by the State Department, concluded in March 2018 the following:
“In late 2016, US government personnel serving in Havana, Cuba, began presenting to their embassy medical unit after experiencing unusual auditory and/or sensory stimuli of variable intensity and character, with associated onset of varied neurological manifestations. Initial signs and symptoms pointed toward injury of the auditory system, leading to the establishment of a triage program at the University of Miami centered around otolaryngology evaluation. Eighty embassy community members underwent initial evaluation between February and April 2017, and 16 individuals were identified with similar exposure history and a constellation of neurological signs and symptoms commonly seen following mild traumatic brain injury, also referred to as concussion. Exposures continued with time and 8 additional individuals were identified who had similar findings. The US Department of State, Bureau of Medical Services, subsequently convened an expert panel in July 2017, which came to consensus that the triage findings were most likely related to neurotrauma from a nonnatural source and recommended that further investigation into this novel cluster of findings was necessary.”
The initial triage program established by the State Department was at the University of Miami, a perfect locale if the intention had been to cover up a Cuban expat connection to the microwave weapon attacks in Havana. Miami is virtually controlled by the Cuban exiles. The presence of the headquarters of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami, where Trump national security adviser had plenty of old friends, would have also been a key factor in covering up a right-wing Cuban-Trump administration plot to cause a breakdown in U.S. relations with Cuba.
Such a breakdown in relations began in September 2017, when the Trump administration issued a U.S. travelers’ warning for Cuba and called home half of the U.S. diplomatic staff in Havana. The following month, the U.S. expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from the United States, effectively shattering the Obama administration’s rapprochement with Cuba.
It is suspicious that Cuban offers of assistance to the United States in discovering the cause of the illnesses were rebuffed by the Trump administration. The Trump administration refused to share the diplomats’ medical records with Cuban authorities and denied Cuban investigators access to U.S. diplomats’ homes in Havana to conduct tests.
In August 2017, Steve Bannon was fired from his White House job as “chief strategist” to Trump. Bannon soon found himself with a new financial sugar daddy, expat billionaire businessman Guo Wengui, who had been granted U.S. political asylum in 2014. Guo established a media and propaganda network in New York that sought to overthrow the government of China and generate support for Trump via its affiliated Epoch Times newspaper and social media presence in the United States.
A few months after Bannon had gone to work for Guo, U.S. diplomats in China began suffering from the same illness that had been experienced by the Americans in Cuba. In April 2018, the “Havana Syndrome” was affecting U.S. diplomatic personnel, their families, and even their dogs at the consulate-general in Guangzhou, the largest American consulate in China. In June, eleven American diplomats were evacuated from Guangzhou with allegations flying from Trump administration sources that Cuba and Russia had given China their special weaponry to target Americans in China. Some 18 months later, the Guo-Bannon-Falun Gong triumvirate seeking to overthrow the Chinese government would have another, more dramatic hammer to wield, Covid-19, which had first been detected in Wuhan.
In November 2020, after Trump’s election loss, a National Security Council official experienced the effects of a psychotronic attack while walking on The Ellipse, south of the White House. At about the same time, Chris Miller, the acting Secretary of Defense and suspected January 6th coup participant who had replaced the fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper after Trump’s election loss, curiously established his own task force at the Pentagon, which was then run by a cabal of far-right activists, including Kash Patel, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Anthony Tata, and others. Miller told CNN, “I knew CIA and Department of State were not taking this shit seriously and we wanted to shame them into it by establishing our task force.” Or did Miller and his confederates want access to the exotic weaponry for their own future purposes?
Consider the fact that “Havana Syndrome” effects have since been reported by U.S. diplomats in Hanoi, causing Vice President Kamala Harris to postpone her visit. Other reported psychotronic attacks have been reported by CIA and U.S. embassy personnel in Moscow; Poland; Tbilisi, Georgia; Taiwan; Serbia; Bogota, Colombia; Kyrgyzstan; Uzbekistan; and Australia. U.S. diplomatic personnel in Vienna, Austria reported syndrome illnesses beginning in mid-2021. The illnesses came at the same time that the U.S. and Iran had initiated indirect talks in the Austrian capital to revive the Trump-nixed JCPOA nuclear agreement. In August 2021, similar syndrome illnesses were being reported by the U.S. embassy in Berlin.
The blame for the so-called “Havana Syndrome” is very likely found far from Havana. Perhaps it should be renamed the “Mar-a-Lago Syndrome.”
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and nationally-distributed columnist. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).