Top Dem hits Trump administration over lack of transparency in Cuba attacks
The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee blasted the Trump administration on Wednesday, alleging that officials have kept members of Congress in the dark about mysterious attacks in Cuba that have affected two dozen U.S. officials and their spouses.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said in a statement that he learned from a report by The Associated Press instead of the State Department that doctors treating victims of the attacks had found brain abnormalities.
“I was also disappointed to once again read about the latest developments in the press rather than being briefed by the State Department,” he said.
“The Trump Administration has consistently failed to carry out its duty to brief Congress on these troubling events.”
The invisible attacks on U.S. officials and their spouses in Havana have been shrouded in mystery since they began last year.
The Cuban government has vehemently denied that it is behind them, and has called the Trump administration’s claims regarding the incidents “deliberate lies.”
U.S. investigators are looking into the attacks, though they have since moved away from the suspicion that some kind of sonic weapon was behind them.
The AP reported Wednesday morning that doctors discovered changes to victims’ white matter, which allows different parts of the brain to communicate.
The attacks began in the fall of 2016, and have continued off and on since then. The most recent attack reported occurred in August.
The incidents prompted the Trump administration earlier this year to withdraw about 60 percent of U.S. diplomatic staff in Cuba and to expel some Cuban diplomats in Washington, further raising tensions between the two countries.