The US pulled the bulk of its diplomats from Cuba in September, blaming attacks on its staff that caused hearing loss and concussions. Cuba has denied any involvement, and now it is offering a counter-explanation: The alleged “sonic attacks” are coming from cicadas and crickets.

That detail comes from an AP report on a television special aired in Cuba yesterday to refute the US narrative about flagging diplomatic relations.

“We compared the spectrums of the sounds and evidently this common sound is very similar to the sound of a cicada,” Lt. Col. Juan Carlos Molina, a Cuban government expert, said on the television broadcast Alleged Sonic Attacks. The program also claimed sufficiently loud insect noises could “produce hearing loss, irritation and hypertension in situations of prolonged exposure.”

The US embassy was only reopened in 2016. Since the attacks, the Trump administration, which opposes normalizing relations with Cuba, has expelled Cuban representatives from the US and issued a warning against travel to the island nation.

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