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Havana Syndrome: From Conspiracy Theories to Reality and Beyond.

June 22, 2024

First reported in 2016 among U.S. Embassy personnel in Havana, Cuba, the Havana Syndrome has since affected various U.S. officials worldwide.

A number of theories have been put forward to explain these mysterious symptoms. But let's start with some facts known from the investigation conducted. The most probable cause was acoustic or ultrasonic devices used for a specific purpose or intent: surveillance, communication disruption, or direct human factor effect. This prominent hypothesis involves directed energy weapons, like microwave or acoustic devices, used for surveillance or direct harm.

What was considered during the investigation: electromagnetic exposure (radar). Close-range exposure to radar pulses can have a disruptive effect on human physiology, such as interfering with and affecting the functional capability of physiological systems, such as, for example, the neurological system.

We may not find out the exact result of the investigation, but most importantly, actions were taken in response to the incident in Havana and some other foreign U.S. Embassies, where so-called 'Anomalous Health Incidents' (AHIs) happened. The Havana Act was initiated to provide payments to current and former Department of State employees and their dependents who have incurred qualifying injuries to the brain. The symptoms reported include headaches, pain, nausea, disequilibrium, and hearing loss, in conjunction with sensory events, as stated by the Federal Register, the daily journal of the United States government.

In the meantime, many trustworthy sources admit that there have been thousands of reports from civilians, but the efforts to take legal action didn't go any further. That being said, we don't need to rely on outside sources only. Besides the numerous articles, interviews, and broadcasts you can find online, you might even find the victims within your circle. And this statement is not exaggerated. We have spoken to the victims of technology exposure ourselves. There are many concerns and complaints about the violations of civil rights and fundamental freedoms. These include but are not limited to physical and emotional tortures. In some cases, if severe enough, there's a restraint on the right to freedom of movement, consequently leading to the elimination of the right to Social Security. Everyone, as a member of society, is entitled to the realization of their economic, social, and cultural rights indispensable for their dignity and the free development of their personality. In reality, a socially isolated victim is being left one on one with his/her problem. The right to a fair and free world completely vanishes from the horizon, considering that there are no existing reporting mechanisms in place to deliver justice for people in such situations. The list goes on as we look at the right to privacy. Significantly, there is also interference with the freedom of thought, which raises ethical questions and the urge to create the policies of conduct for neurotechnologies in general.

Although the symptoms are resembeling, which should consequently indicate the utilization of similar technologies, experts aren't rushing to link these reports to the ones previously investigated regarding the state representatives. One of the objectives here is that the patterns in civilian cases are not coherent with those reports from Havana and other locations. But it is understandable. Depending on the various backgrounds, cultural specifications, and geographical factors, the patterns would most likely vary from case to case. In terms of identifying the pattern, it would be more useful to classify the patterns by different categories, using predefined criteria. It is also notable that the phenomenon of targeted surveillance itself represents an individually structured systematic exposure to some neurotechnology built upon one's specific character, habits, and genetic predisposition. Simply put, the creation of an individual profile is the basics of the perpetrators' guidebook. It is necessary in order to further effectively manipulate the target.

Another objective sounds more skeptical than factual. It lays in the assertion that many, if not the majority, of the reports have their roots in the broad spread of media on the Havana Syndrome. That could result in people associating themselves with the same symptoms for some reason known or unknown to them. And indeed, due to some individual physiological or psychological condition, some cases would need to be narrowed to a different cause or circumstance. But having no regulation and minimum supervision on the use of neurotechnology won't do any good. We simply can't keep moving on with the same approach to something that has the potential to either improve living for future generations or completely destroy the very concept of human rights, whether to be used for further commercial purposes or national security operations. Either way, robust regulation is vital.

At this point, there are still dozens of questions floating in the air while people are suffering from technological exposure and targeted surveillance. We need to take on the responsibility, following the excellent example of resolution for the state representatives and their family members who suffered. I personally believe that any delay in action will result in more human suffering. This is why, having evidence-based information and direct access to some of the victims, I will start working on the human rights and social impact assessment. This anticipates a thorough investigation of human rights violations in regard to the phenomenon described in this article.

Martin Luther King once said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The United States should remain the beacon of hope for those seeking freedom. But freedom doesn't come easy. As we evolve as a humankind, there will be new challenges along the way, and we have to overcome them with faith and dignity, holding our rights as guidance.

Liliana Melnychuk


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