After two years of abundant speculation and little information and cooperation, there is still no single reason to support the closure of consular services, the expulsion of Cuban diplomats from Washington, deceptive travelers' alerts, and all unfair measures that the United States has taken under the pretext that their officials are in danger in Cuba.
These measures have had a high humanitarian cost in our population which has been forced to travel without guaranties to third countries with the objective of visiting their relatives or participate in a professional event. Many sectors in the United States have also been affected.
The specialized United States and Cuban agencies such as the FBI and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Criminalistics agreed in their conclusions that there is no evidence of any kind of attack or act against diplomats in Havana.
The article published today does not modify this situation; on the contrary, it confirms it. The article recognizes that the changes detected are minimal, that its conclusions are uncertain and that they cannot identify their cause.
However, John Bolton and the State Department in their public documents have maintained the irresponsible use of the term "attacks" when they know that there have been neither attacks nor deliberate acts against their diplomats in Cuba. It is a term that implies bad intentions that have never been sustained. We are not surprised of these actions because all the politics of hostility and the most recent measures of aggression against Cuba are built up on lies to fulfill perverse political and domination purposes.
Cuba asks the United States government to put an end to the manipulation and use of this issue as a pretext to impose more new measures of aggression against the integrity of our country, its economy and its people.
What real evidence demonstrates is that Cuba is a safe country for American diplomats and of any country, as it is for Cuban citizens, for foreign residents and for the millions of travelers from all corners of the world who visit Cuba every year.
Cuba is and will remain a safe, stable and attractive country. It remains willing to develop a respectful dialogue to cooperate in this and other issues for the benefit of both peoples.
July 24, 2019
CUBAN SCIENTISTS RESPOND TO THE CONCLUSIONS OF THE NEW ARTICLE IN JAMA MAGAZINE
Statements by Dr. Mitchell Valdés Sosa, Director of the Center for Neurosciences of Cuba (CNEURO).
Today, a new study from the University of Pennsylvania was published in JAMA Magazine, where brain images of American diplomatic personnel, that reported affectations when they were stationed in Havana, were compared with those of a group of controls. The study concludes that there is a difference in the brain images of diplomats and controls. This work is the continuation of an article that describes the clinical picture of these diplomats in that same magazine, in March 2018.
Although it is not usual to comment so hastily on a scientific article, given the media impact that it has had and to prevent misinterpretations, we announce the preliminary criteria of the group of experts:
- The authors themselves acknowledge that the study is inconclusive and they have no explanation for their findings.
- The changes described are small, very diverse, diffuse, and do not correspond to a coherent picture. This is not only the opinion of the Cuban medical group but of recognized experts in the field of neuroimaging who have already declared today that these results are not internally consistent.
- It is common for neuroimaging studies as in other medical fields; small effects are found in small samples that are not replicable; they can originate by chance. Some of the changes were slightly towards the abnormal but others slightly towards the hyper normal.
- The degree of superposition of the data of the two groups is not shown in the work.
- The differences between diplomats and controls, if any, may be due to how the control group was selected. Any pre-existing illness in a group of diplomats who were absent in the controls (and vice versa) could be the origin of a difference in the images
- The measures of functional connectivity networks used are very nonspecific and are altered by the psychological state of the person, as recognized by the article itself and the scientific community.
- There is no discernible relationship between the alterations described in neuroimaging and the referred symptoms of diplomats.
- There is no correspondence between the results of this article and the previous work. For example, alterations of executive functions in neuropsychological tests were described in the previous article of the same research group at the University of Pennsylvania. In this work no functional connectivity alterations are found in the executive subnetwork.
- Alterations in neuroimaging, if any, may have originated before being in Cuba or due to a disease unrelated to the "directional" phenomena of strange sounds and other sensations described by diplomats.
- Although the title refers to some so-called "directional phenomena", the work does not show any relationship between the findings of the images and these supposed phenomena. This is important, given the widespread discredit in the scientific community of theories of sonic or microwave attacks.
The article does not allow reaching clear final scientific conclusions. It could be said that the picture of medical results is more confusing and contradictory, even more so that the numerous criticisms of the international scientific community have not been satisfactorily answered.
It does not prove, contrary to what has been speculated, and what was raised in the previous article, that there had been brain damage in a group of diplomats during their stay in Cuba.
We repeat that we do not deny that there may be sick individuals but we claim the need to move towards coherent explanations from the scientific point of view.
The only way to clarify the health status of those affected is through transparent scientific discussion and exchanges of open and unprejudiced information.