Biden signs law to support victims of 'Havana Syndrome'

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Oct 09, 2021, 03:02 PM(IST)

US President Joe Biden (file photo). Photograph:( Twitter )

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As per the Havana act, there will be financial compensation for members of the State Department and CIA who suffer brain injury

President Joe Biden on Friday signed a law providing financial support for victims of mysterious headaches and nausea, suffered by US diplomats, in what has been termed as the "Havana Syndrome."

As per the Havana act, there will be financial compensation for members of the State Department and CIA who suffer brain injury. Dozens of cases have occurred at US embassies around the world, starting with a cluster in Havana, Cuba. 

The cause of the illnesses has not been fully diagnosed.

In a statement, Biden said, "I want to thank Congress for passing it with unanimous bipartisan support, sending the clear message that we take care of our own."

Also read | Havana Syndrome strikes again? What is it exactly?

"Civil servants, intelligence officers, diplomats, and military personnel all around the world have been affected by anomalous health incidents. Some are struggling with debilitating brain injuries that have curtailed their careers of service to our nation," he added. 

Republican Senator Susan Collins, who is the lead author of the law, said in a statement that "Havana Syndrome" illnesses have struck more than 40 US staff in Cuba.

A member of CIA Director William Burns' team had similar symptoms in India this month, reports US media. Two US officials in Germany were also among the recent victims and the New Yorker reported that there have been dozens of cases afflicting US officials in Vienna.

The first case was observed in 2016 when a US intelligence agent in the US embassy in Havana complained of vertigo, ear pain, tinnitus. As per a report in Politico, the doctor said that the agent had inner-ear damage likely caused due to the projected energy device.

Since then similar complaints have been reported from US officials in China, Russia and inside the United States.

Watch: Financial aid to Havana Syndrome victims by Biden government

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