Canada pulls families of diplomatic staff from Cuba

TORONTO — Canada’s foreign ministry said Monday that it is ordering families of diplomatic staff in Cuba to return home amid questions about mysterious health symptoms detected in 10 people stationed on the island.

Canadian diplomats will no longer be accompanied by family members in Cuba because of what it called ‘‘ongoing uncertainty’’ over the cause of the ailments, the ministry said in a statement.

The move comes after 10 Canadians continue to show unexplained brain symptoms and after ‘‘medical information raised concerns for a new type of a possible acquired brain injury.’’ Symptoms have included dizziness, headaches, and lack of ability to concentrate.


The US State Department cut staff at its embassy in October because of similar symptoms affecting 24 American diplomats and dependents.

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson said the symptoms resulted from ‘‘targeted attacks’’ but not who may have been behind them.

Cuba has repeatedly denied either involvement in or knowledge of any attacks and has said its own investigation into the illnesses has turned up no evidence of deliberate action. The United States has not accused Cuba of such action but has said Havana holds responsibility nonetheless, arguing that such incidents could not have occurred on the island without the knowledge of Cuban officials.