US resumes issuing visas in Cuba after more than four years

Edited By: Manas Joshi
Havana Published: May 04, 2022, 12:01 AM(IST)

An antique American-made automobile is parked in the old part of the city August 14, 2015 in Havana, Cuba. Photograph:( Getty )

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Washington closed its consular services in the Cuban capital in 2017 after US personnel and their families suffered from mystery illnesses subsequently known as "Havana Syndrome."

US embassy in Cuba on Tuesday, began issuing visas for the first time in four years since alleged sonic attacks that resulted in so-called 'Havana Syndrome' among US diplomatic personnel.

Washington closed its consular services in the Cuban capital in 2017 after US personnel and their families suffered from mystery illnesses subsequently known as "Havana Syndrome."

When US suspended issuing visas, it was a blow to many Cubans who intended to emigrate to the US to escape economic woes of their home country. 

"Welcome to the embassy after so much time," said a Cuban employee to a small group of people waiting for their appointments in the consular section. The employee was quoted by AFP.

The United States announced two months ago it would begin a "limited" and "gradual" reopening of its embassy and consular services.
It was closed in September 2017 after then-US president Donald Trump hit out at the alleged sonic attacks.

A US government report in 2020 said the illnesses suffered by staff and their families were most likely caused by "directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy."

"We're hoping that everything goes well. I've been waiting three years for this to rejoin my daughter" who is in the United States, said one man who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I haven't seen her for seven years."

(With inputs from agencies)

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