“Throughout the crisis, Canada downplayed the seriousness of the situation, hoarded and concealed critical health and safety information, and gave false, misleading and incomplete information to diplomatic staff.”
Group of Canadian diplomats
“I am not going to comment on the specifics, but I do want to reiterate that I have met with some of these diplomats and, as I said to them, their health and safety needs to be our priority.”
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland
A group of Canadian diplomats says the government left them in danger after mysterious health problems struck embassies in Cuba. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
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Five of these diplomats, along with members of their families, are suing Ottawa for $28 million in damages for allegedly dragging its heels in responding to cases of Havana Syndrome.
“My wife, she isn’t the same anymore,” one unnamed diplomat told Canadian broadcaster CBC.
“She has gaps in her memory, headaches, problems hearing. She picks up the telephone to make a call but forgets why, enters rooms without reason.”
Staff at the Canadian embassy began experiencing symptoms of the so-called “Havana syndrome” in spring 2017.
Several families were subsequently moved from Havana, but until April 2018 Canada continued to post new staff to Cuba despite warnings from US counterparts who had received similar complaints.
In September 2017, the US withdrew most of its non-essential personnel from Havana . 21 US embassy employees have been affected.
In January 2019, Canada announced it would be cutting its embassy staff by up to half. 14 Canadian embassy employees have been affected.
Diplomats sue Ottawa over health ailments during Cuba postings
Havana Syndrome — Canadian Diplomats sue Ottawa