(CBS News) According to medical records reviewed exclusively by CBS News, a U.S. doctor who evaluated American and Canadian diplomats working in Havana diagnosed them with conditions as serious as mild traumatic brain injury, and likely damage to the central nervous system.
A source familiar with the incidents says reports of more attacks affecting U.S. embassy workers on the island continue.
The doctor, one of several who reviewed their cases, included a warning in the medical records about the health risks of future exposures. The diplomats underwent comprehensive audiological evaluations and a battery of other tests, after complaining about hearing loss, nausea, headaches and balance issues.
An American doctor also visited Havana in the spring to assess U.S. embassy workers, according to the source.
The source says American diplomats have also been subjected other types of harassment including vehicle vandalizations, constant surveillance, and home break-ins.
But as the U.S. pledges publicly to hold Cuba accountable for the protection of its diplomats, there are signs the U.S. may be privately moving forward with plans to make it easier for Americans to visit and do business in the country.
On Tuesday, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control quietly removed hundreds of internet domain names primary focused on travel to Cuba from its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List. The people, groups and entities on the list are restricted from doing business in the U.S.
“While there may be a legal basis for the removal of the domain names from the SDN/BP list, to remove so many at one moment has optical significance,” says John Kavulich, president of the New York-based U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council. “It is demonstrative of the distance between political rhetoric and practical implementation of policy.”
The Treasury Department has not responded to numerous requests from CBS News for comment.
There has been speculation that the workers were exposed to some sort of sonic waves.