14ymedio, Madrid, 8 June 2023 — China and Cuba have reached a secret agreement for Beijing to install an electronic espionage infrastructure on the Island aimed at capturing communications from all over the southern United States, according to Washington officials in an exclusive to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The newspaper says that the facility can give access to the many military bases that are in that area and monitor U.S. maritime traffic.
“Although I cannot talk about this specific report, we are very aware of China’s efforts to invest in infrastructure for military purposes around the world, including in this hemisphere, and we have talked about it many times,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told the WSJ.
The official added that Washington is following up on this situation and has measures to counteract it. “We are confident that we can meet all our security commitments within the nation, the region and around the world.”
According to media sources who are “highly classified” intelligence officials, China has offered Cuba billions of dollars in exchange for the authorization to build the espionage base, and the Havana regime, in great need of funds, would have agreed. The proximity of this location is an alarm signal for Washington, and the newspaper does not hesitate to describe the situation as an “unprecedented threat,” recalling the Lourdes base installed on the Island by the USSR last century and dismantled in 2001.
Officials claim to have information — although they refused to disclose it — about the location of the base, which would allow China to perform an intelligence technique known as “sigint” (signals intelligence), which consists of collecting information about a target, both for defense and offense, with supervision of communications, including emails, phone calls and satellite transmissions.
For their part, the embassies of the countries involved refused to comment, and even Cuba did not respond to the request.
The WSJ says that its sources also did not want to clarify whether the construction has begun or is just a plan, while admitting that it is difficult for the U.S. to intervene to stop the construction. It mentions the 1962 Cuban missile crisis and how the U.S. ended up stealthily withdrawing from Turkey the intermediate-range ballistic missiles, which allowed Moscow to take their own missiles out of Cuba and end the crisis.
“It is likely that Beijing will argue that the base in Cuba is justified, due to the military and intelligence activities of the U.S. close to China,” several analysts consulted told the American newspaper, pointing out that there are U.S. military planes that carry out electronic surveillance over the China Sea and that Washington sells weapons to Taiwan, where it also has troops and U.S. Navy ships.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is planning a trip to Beijing at the end of the month and may meet Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both powers are trying to resolve the crisis experienced a few months ago, when a Chinese balloon flew over the U.S. and was shot down in Atlantic waters. Beijing then admitted that the balloon belonged to them but claimed that it had gone astray and was used for meteorological purposes only, not for espionage.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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