A Boeing 737 operated by state airline Cubana crashed on takeoff from Jose Marti International Airport in Havana on Friday with 104 people on board. There was no immediate word on casualties.
State television and websites said the plane was headed to the eastern city of Holguin and crashed between the airport in southern Havana and the nearby town of Santiago de las Vegas.
The plane lay in a farm field and appeared heavily damaged and burnt, with firefighters spraying water on its smouldering remains. Government officials including President Miguel Diaz-Canel rushed to the site, along with a large number of emergency medical workers and ambulances. Residents of the rural area said they had seen some survivors being taken away in ambulances.
The plane was rented by Cubana, which has taken many of its aging planes out of service in recent months due to mechanical problems.
The Cuban Revolution has, at last, a new president with a new name and a new face, the gray-maned 57-year-old Miguel Díaz-Canel, who wears the uniforms of a businessman, not a soldier.
Fidel Castro is dead. His 86-year-old brother, Raul, is stepping aside. But nobody should believe the Castros are gone, or that there’s a new revolution in the Revolution. Raul remains the head of the Communist Party, which is the body that determines all political life in the country, and behind him is a coterie of military officers whose power is matched only by their anonymity.
When a mystery illness rippled through the US embassy in Cuba in late 2016, the diplomatic fallout was rapid.
The US slashed the number of people at its Havana mission and expelled 15 Cuban diplomats after at least 24 American staff and family reported a mix of headaches, dizziness, eyesight, hearing, sleep and concentration problems.
Many of the affected diplomats said their illness came on after they heard strange noises in their homes or hotel rooms. Some reported that the sounds – which ranged from grinding to cicada-like to the buffeting caused by an open car window – appeared to be directed at them, and that their symptoms abated when they moved to another room.
Now, the dispute over the cause of the episode has spread into the medical world, where some doctors and scientists are furious with a situation they believe is being spun for political gain.
The 68-year-old son of Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro has killed himself in Havana, according to Cuban state media.
Fidel Ángel Castro Díaz-Balart was found on Thursday morning and is said to have suffered from depression.
The first-born son of the late president was nicknamed “Fidelito”, or Little Fidel, after his father.
He was a nuclear physicist, trained by the former Soviet Union.
In a briefing with reporters on Wednesday, senior government officials said that of the 20 Canadian diplomatic households in Havana, 10 asked for testing because at least one of their members reported feeling unusual symptoms.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered a new inquiry into health problems suffered by diplomats serving at the US embassy in the Cuban capital Havana.
President Donald Trump has previously blamed the Cuban government for the mystery illnesses.
Reports suggest sonic attacks were to blame but nothing has been proven.
Cuba says there have been no sonic attacks against US embassy staff in Havana.
It describes the allegations as a “political manipulation” aimed at damaging bilateral relations.
The unknown sound attacks, which has left victims with hearing, eyesight and memory damage, has also left doctors continuing to search for treatment options for the mysterious symptoms caused by the attack, where a sonic weapon might have been used to target U.S. diplomats.
The Cuban government is an oppressive regime known for its human rights violations. In late last year, sixteen American diplomats based at Havana’s U.S. Embassy, appear to have suffered traumatic brain injury caused by a subsonic attack. President Trump has gone on the record accusing the Cubans of responsibility for the attacks. But this is not the first time it has experimented on Americans.
As a former Marine, Mike Benge believes that there were seventeen Americans held in the Villa Marista prison and confirms that there were Cubans who tortured American POWs in Vietnam. In 1968, he worked for the Agency for International Development, serving as a civilian economic and community development advisor.
Trudeau says Cuba has decent diplomatic relations with North Korea, which may allow Canada to send messages to North Korea through “surprising conduits.”
For ten months, covert “attacks of an unknown nature” have caused a variety of injuries to at least 22 U.S. employees at U.S. diplomatic residences and hotels in Havana. The U.S. government has issued a travel warning on Cuba, pulled out all nonessential personnel and families (suspending all visa issuance in Havana), and requested, in reciprocity, that Cuba pare down its embassy in Washington by recalling 15 of its “diplomats,” most of whom are known to be spies.
HAVANA (AP) — Frightening attacks on U.S. personnel in Havana struck the heart of America’s spy network in Cuba, with intelligence operatives among the first and most severely affected victims, The Associated Press has learned.
It wasn’t until U.S. spies, posted to the embassy under diplomatic cover, reported hearing bizarre sounds and experiencing even stranger physical effects that the United States realized something was wrong, individuals familiar with the situation said.
Startling new details have emerged in the Cuban “sonic harassment attacks”, with reports suggesting that diplomats were targeted in specific rooms or even a part of a specific room.
The state department said earlier this week that 21 US diplomats are now known to be affected, and several Canadians. British diplomats are not believed to have been affected by the incidents, which mainly took place in the autumn of 2016 until the spring of this year.
An outbreak of hearing loss and other health problems affecting at least 16 employees at the US embassy in Havana could have been caused by an electronic surveillance operation that went wrong, former intelligence officials said on Friday.
The state department said it was investigating the outbreak, and that some of the worst affected diplomats had been evacuated to Miami for examination and treatment.
“This is something that we have not experienced in the past,” Heather Nauert, the department’s spokeswoman, said. “We are working very hard to try to take care of our folks who are there on official duty – and trying to provide them all the care and the treatment and the support that they would need.”
Reports suggest the envoys could have been targeted by a covert sonic device that causes hearing loss.
The US state department has expelled two diplomats from the Cuban embassy in Washington following a series of unexplained incidents in Cuba that left US officials there with physical symptoms that one official said includes potentially permanent hearing loss.
Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that the Cubans were asked to leave the US on 23 May after Americans in Cuba “reported incidents which have caused a variety of physical symptoms”, causing them to leave the island.
Nauert said the first of the incidents was reported in late 2016 and that they had continued. She would not say what the symptoms were except that they were not life-threatening. Nauert also declined to provide details about the incidents. The FBI and Diplomatic Security Service are investigating.