According to U.S. officials who provided classified intelligence to the Wall Street Journal, China has allegedly reached a secret agreement with Cuba to establish a spy facility on the island. The reported purpose of this facility is to gather intelligence on the United States and its nearby military bases. The Wall Street Journal’s sources claim that the facility would enable China to eavesdrop on electronic communications across the southeastern United States, particularly in areas where numerous military bases are located, including 21 in Florida.
If the claims are accurate, the proximity of Cuba to Florida, being only 100 miles away, would allow China to monitor ship traffic in the region and intercept various forms of communication such as emails, phone calls, and satellite transmissions.
According to the U.S. officials cited by the Wall Street Journal, China has agreed to provide Cuba with several billion dollars in exchange for allowing the construction of this alleged spy facility.
Details regarding the location of the supposed eavesdropping station on the island, the status of its construction, or any potential actions by the Biden administration to prevent its establishment were not provided by the officials.
John Kirby, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, denied the accuracy of the Wall Street Journal’s report. While he acknowledged China’s efforts to invest in infrastructure worldwide for potential military purposes, Kirby asserted that the specific report was inaccurate. He emphasized that the United States closely monitors and takes countermeasures against such activities while remaining confident in its ability to fulfill its security commitments domestically and internationally.
The Biden administration faced criticism from Republicans who accused them of downplaying the Chinese threat to the United States. Republican figures such as Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, and Josh Hawley expressed concerns about the reported Chinese-Cuban collaboration and called for a stronger stance against China.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington and Cuba’s Embassy did not respond to requests for comment, according to the Wall Street Journal.