Are we shocked that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has intelligence-gathering operations in Cuba? The fact is, China spies on its neighbors, other foreign nations, and US installations around the globe. Liberty Nation reported on Chinese nationals pretending to be tourists attempting to surveil military bases in Alaska. What makes the news that Beijing is establishing an intelligence base of operations in Cuba, 100 miles from US beaches, is the reaction from the Biden administration when the news broke in The Wall Street Journal.
Reporting by Warren P. Strobel and Gordon Lubold in a June 8 WSJ article, “Cuba to Host Secret Chinese Spy Base Focusing on US,” explained:
“China and Cuba have reached a secret agreement for China to establish an electronic eavesdropping facility on the island, in a brash new geopolitical challenge by Beijing to the US, according to US officials familiar with highly classified intelligence. An eavesdropping facility in Cuba, roughly 100 miles from Florida, would allow Chinese intelligence services to scoop up electronic communications throughout the southeastern US, where many military bases are located, and monitor US ship traffic.”
As the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) spy story was circulating, story was circulating, Air Force Brigadier Gen. Pat Ryder was asked at a Pentagon press briefing about a new listening post in Cuba. “I can tell you, based on the information that we have that that is not accurate. That — that we are not aware of China and Cuba developing any type of spy stations separately … But in terms of that — that particular report, no, it’s not accurate,” Ryder told the reporters. In an interview with a national media outlet, John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council, said confidently, “Hey, look, I’ve seen that press report. Ah, it’s not accurate.”
Biden Official Confirms Cuba Has Spy Bases
On the other hand, “China has been operating a spy base in Cuba since at least 2019, part of a global effort by Beijing to upgrade its intelligence-gathering capabilities, according to a Biden administration official,” Aamer Madhani reported for the Associated Press. From what US intelligence experts are saying, Beijing spying on the southern US from Cuba is part of a dedicated worldwide campaign of surveillance operations that have been going on for several years.
However, a base inside Cuba for the specific purpose of gathering SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) and COMMINT (Communications Intelligence) across the southern United States is a significant expansion of PRC eavesdropping. What China is doing, according to several press reports, is paying billions of dollars to the economically depressed Caribbean island nation in exchange for permission to construct the spy base.
The government of Cuba was quick to respond to the WSJ news report and the US government officials’ statements. “All of them are fallacies promoted with the malicious intention to justify the unprecedented reinforcement of the economic blockade, destabilization and the aggression against Cuba, and to deceive public opinion in the United States and around the world,” Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cuba Carlos Fernández de Cossio declared in a press release.
We look silly as a nation when the Biden administration cannot get its stories straight, especially when the CCP does not miss any opportunity to point out the blunders. “On the alleged spy activities of China in Cuba, this is a piece of false information. Over the past two days, we have seen the US government and media releasing a great deal of inconsistent information on the so-called allegation … This is a display of the ‘self-contradictory USA,’” PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said, according to Reuters.
Bipartisan Congressional Reaction
Politico noted that congressional leaders reacted in a bipartisan manner. “In less than 48 hours, officials from the Biden administration have contradicted themselves multiple times about whether or not the Chinese Communist Party is spying on the United States. This is unacceptable,” Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), complained. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY), a member of the HPSCI, emphasized that Congress “has a duty to investigate the matter rather than accept at face value the denial of the Defense Department,” regarding the Cuban spy facility. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) said in a joint statement: “The United States must respond to China’s ongoing and brazen attacks on our nation’s security. We must be clear that it would be unacceptable for China to establish an intelligence facility within 100 miles of Florida and the United States.”
China is not shy about its intentions to become the most influential nation in the world. The CCP has put spies in US universities and national labs, so it comes as no surprise that a robust Chinese intelligence-gathering installation has been sited near sensitive military facilities in the southern United States. It’s not comforting to have the commander-in-chief and his team not on the same page when facing America’s most formidable threat.