Statement on the health and security of Canadian diplomatic staff in Havana, Cuba

November 28, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

The health, safety and security of our diplomatic staff and their families remain our priority.

The Government of Canada continues to investigate the potential causes of unusual health symptoms reported by some Canadian diplomatic staff and dependents posted to Havana, Cuba.

All potentially affected diplomatic personnel have been offered medical support.

To date, no cause has been identified. This remains the case today.

Medical testing confirmed that an additional employee has been affected. The individual is receiving the necessary medical attention. This incident brings the total number of confirmed cases of affected Canadian diplomats and dependents from 12 to 13.

In light of this new information, a decision has been made to allow staff currently posted to Cuba to return to Canada, if they wish. This was done previously, in April 2018, when the Government of Canada designated our embassy in Cuba as an unaccompanied post, meaning that diplomats posted to Cuba are not accompanied by their dependants.

A delegation of senior Canadian government officials will travel to Cuba next week to review Canada’s current operations and assess how to further reduce risks to our diplomatic personnel.

At this time, there is no evidence that Canadian travellers to Cuba are at risk. Canadian travellers should continue to check the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories for the latest updates.

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