Migraines, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vision problems, tinnitus, even loss of hearing or part of vision… Since 2016, and their appearance in American and Canadian diplomats and federal agents staying in the Cuban capital (hence its nickname), these neurological symptoms raised many questions.

What could possibly be the cause of these strange ailments reported almost everywhere on the planet, but always by members of the intelligence community and diplomacy?

The hypothesis of a human, intentional cause emanating from a foreign power was raised, but it was officially ruled out by the White House. Until the publication in early April 2024 of an investigation carried out over several years by journalists from the American channel CBS, the German newspaper Der Spiegel and The Insider, the independent media specializing in information on Russia.

The three media assure, with multiple supporting evidence and testimonies, that not only does this “Havana syndrome” indeed exist, but they also point to someone responsible. The hundreds of victims, diplomats, members of the FBI, the CIA and sometimes their relatives would have been the targets, from 2014 in Frankfurt in particular, of a “sonic weapon” or “non-lethal acoustic weapon”.

Coming from a rapidly developing technological arsenal, its operation would be based on a “microwave” system that could target eardrums and cause irreparable damage. This is the idea being developed by a researcher from the University of Illinois at Chicago, James Lin, who published an article on this subject in 2021 in the scientific journal IEEE microwave. “The microwave technology required [to develop sonic weapons] is mature and commercially available in many developed countries,” he writes.

According to reports published at the beginning of April and cited above, those responsible for these “attacks” are none other than members of unit 29155, a group of the Russian intelligence agency GRU, accused in the past of having been involved in sabotage cases, or the Novichok poisoning of the former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Questioned by CBS before the publication of its report, the management of the CIA continues to refute any involvement of a foreign power in symptoms that it “continues to study” without recognizing their possible links. Likewise, the FBI and White House responded that they continue to closely monitor the health of diplomats and federal agents, neither denying nor confirming these revelations. For its part, Moscow has rejected any involvement.