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US experts prepare to release 'sonic attack' findings amid Cuba's denial

Sources say Journal of the American Medical Association to publish findings

HAVANA – While the U.S. State Department reported there were 24 victims of a "sonic attack" in Cuba and an investigation continues, Cuban officials this week continued to deny the incidents. 

After Cuban diplomats complained about not receiving any evidence of such attacks from the U.S. government, they recruited experts to speculate about the possibility of an attack.

The experts didn't have access to the alleged technology used or the medical history of the 24 victims reported. The Cuban government shared videos on Twitter. 

"In my opinion, it's not possible a cerebral concussion in the affected diplomats because there was no history of trauma in the affected person," Dr. Nelson Gomez Viera, a Cuban neurologist, said in English. 

Several sources told Local 10 News that medical experts from the University of Miami and the University of Pennsylvania were getting ready to release their findings by way of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Cuban diplomats have said they believe the sonic attacks were a fabrication to push for President Donald Trump's new policy. Three weeks ago, they released a prime-time special on Cuban TV questioning the validity of the U.S. reports. 

During a recent visit to Washington, D.C.,  Bruno Rodriguez, Cuba's foreign minister, accused U.S. officials of "deliberately lying" to create a "pretext for damaging bilateral relations and eliminating the progress made." 

When Chris Allen learned that an invisible attack had hurt a U.S. government worker who was staying at Havana's Hotel Capri, he finally had a culprit for his unexplained illness. It developed after he stayed at that same hotel in April 2014 and bewildered a half-dozen neurologists. 

"It really, really frightened me," said Allen, who works in finance. 

U.S. officials said the sonic attacks started in 2016, two years after Allen's visit to Havana. He also doesn't remember the agonizing sound that others reportedly heard. 

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in October that investigators were revising assessments based on medical evaluations of the personnel who were affected. 

"To anyone who knows anything about the Cuban government and the past of the Cuban government, it’s hard to imagine that certain things would not be known that they were taking place on that island right there," Nauert said.

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.