China has had a spy base in Cuba for decades, retired army counterintelligence agent says
A retired army counterintelligence agent disclosed that the espionage operations of China in Cuba have been operating and targeting the United States for over three decades.
Chris Simmons, a former chief of a counterintelligence research division of the Defense Intelligence Agency, revealed that American intelligence agencies took nine years to identify the culprits behind repair and enhancement activities during the 1990s at a signals intelligence facility in Bejucal, a town south of Havana.
“We saw the enhancements over a decade, a steady evolution; clearly, something was going on, but we didn’t know what,” said Simmons. “And then, in 2001, we discovered that the Chinese had been there already for nine years. We were told at that time that when the Chinese arrived in 1992, they were embedded in a single building within Bejucal, and there were 50 officers in this facility.”
These revelations came after a report from the Wall Street Journal disclosing discussions between Cuban and Chinese officials who were negotiating building a Chinese espionage facility and military training base in Cuba. China allegedly offered financial incentives to the Cuban government for this deal to push through.
Both the White House and the Department of Defense initially dismissed the reports as inaccurate but later confirmed the presence of Chinese intelligence-collection facilities in Cuba since 2019. (Related: POWER PLAY: Cuba spy station brings US-China rivalry closer to American shores.)
Apart from the facility in Bejucal, China reportedly took control of two other monitoring stations built by the Soviet Union, one in Lourdes to the northwest of the island and one in Santiago de Cuba, the second-largest city on the island located some 40 miles to the west of Guantanamo.
Reports of Chinese spies in Cuba influenced a U.S. government commission’s recommendation last year to deny permission for a U.S. company to extend a submarine internet cable connection between South Florida and Cuba.
In response to these issues, Senator Bob Menendez and Representative Michael McCaul, the chairpersons of the Senate and House committees handling foreign affairs, requested an intelligence briefing in a joint letter. They highlighted the escalation in establishing intelligence facilities and expanding military ties of China near U.S. territory. However, both China and Cuba have denied these allegations and labeled them as part of a disinformation campaign from the United States.
US tries to maintain defense cooperation with allies in Asia and the Pacific
The presence of Chinese spies in Cuba directly threatens several key U.S. military installations in the southeastern region. R. Evan Ellis, a professor at the U.S. Army War College, claimed that they could monitor facilities in Florida, such as the headquarters of U.S. Southern Command in Doral, the Naval Air Station in Key West and the Special Operations Command South at Homestead Air Reserve Base.
Chinese intelligence-gathering capabilities and its knowledge of U.S. aircraft and naval traffic could be exploited to disrupt American operations during military conflicts.
Additionally, the proximity of Cuba to the United States allows the interception of signals from U.S. satellites communicating with ground stations that would provide Chinese and Cuban spies with all the valuable data. Even encrypted phone calls can be tracked by analyzing call patterns and identifying regular contacts.
In response, the U.S. has strengthened its alliances and expanded military and defense cooperation with major allies in Asia and the Pacific, including Australia, India, Japan and the Philippines. Assistant Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner emphasized the demand for the U.S. to play its traditional stabilizing role in the region as bonds with these countries intensify.
Given the powerful and coercive tactics of China, the U.S. and other countries must collaborate and prepare for possible war. The U.S. may seek to prevent China from strengthening its military presence in Cuba. It could consider working with European and Latin American allies to exert pressure on Havana through economic sanctions or strained diplomatic ties. However, the success of such efforts may depend on whether the U.S. can offer incentives to Havana.
Visit CommunistChina.news to learn more about China’s rivalry with the U.S. and other countries.
Watch the video below to know more about China’s spy station in Cuba.
This video is from the Worldview Report channel on Brighteon.com.
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