What Was Havana Syndrome, the Mystery Illness that Hit American Spies?

In 2016, Americans working in Cuba began to experience something strange. Something that is, to this day, unexplained. They felt a pressure in the brain, a ringing in their ear, and in the aftermath … a distressing sense of fatigue. This is Havana Syndrome, a mysterious ailment that felled spies and diplomats.

It remains a mystery to this day, one U.S. government officials have a hard time talking about let alone understanding. Sometimes it sounds like a frightening new weapon, other times like a classic moral panic. But what was it really? Will we ever know?

This is all the subject of a new podcast from VICE World News called Havana Syndrome. Over the course of the show’s nine episodes it unpacks not just the mysterious syndrome, but a history of spy and counterspy, the CIA, and America’s complicated relationship with Cuba.

With me here today to talk about it all is series producer Jesse Alejandro Cottrell.

Go here to check out ‘Havana Syndrome’ from VICE World News.

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