Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel waves a national flag during the May Day rally at Revolution Square in Havana.
PHOTO: YAMIL LAGE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel waves a national flag during the May Day rally at Revolution Square in Havana.
(CNN) —  

Cuba’s new leader has denied his country had any involvement in “sonic” attacks against US diplomats in the country.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel told Telesur, a Venezuela-based media network, that Cuba has not “attacked anyone,” or violated the rights of any diplomat.

“(The United States) have started threatening again. They’ve started to impose, and in the middle of all this they have created this fallacy, this defamatory story of alleged ‘acoustic’ incidents,” Diaz said in his first interview as president.

In late 2016, multiple US Embassy personnel in Cuba began reporting symptoms including sharp ear pain, headaches, ringing in one ear, vertigo, disorientation, attention issues and signs consistent with mild traumatic brain injury or concussion.

In June, another US diplomatic employee in Havana suffered “health effects” consistent with those previously experienced by employees at the embassy there, the State Department confirmed at the time.

Denials

Previously, the Cuban government not only denied involvement in the attacks but also cast doubt on whether they actually occurred. In June, Cuba’s Foreign Ministry said “political motivations” drove the United States to withdraw its embassy personnel.

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While the US has not directly blamed the Cuban government for carrying out the attacks, US officials said Cuba is responsible for safeguarding the diplomats well-being and that Cuban officials would likely know if a third government were responsible.

In May, a US government employee stationed in the city of Guangzhou in southern China reported “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure,” which may have resembled the sensations felt by at least two dozen US diplomats and family members previously stationed in Havana.

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