A Chinese-managed base for electronic wiretapping will be built in Cuba thanks to a secret agreement signed between Havana and Beijing unveiled by the Wall Street Journal citing American officials. Washington would therefore be fully aware of the latest challenge launched by Beijing about 160 kilometers from Florida, where a structure will be built that will allow Chinese intelligence services to collect electronic communications in the southeastern United States, where several American military bases are located.
According to Washington officials who confirmed the secret agreement, Beijing would have disbursed several billion dollars to Cuba, oxygen for the island grappling with an atavistic economic crisis. Beijing's move has raised alarm in the Biden administration considering the unprecedented threat that a Chinese base with advanced military and intelligence capabilities so close to American borders can pose. "While I can't speak to this specific report, we are well aware of the People's Republic of China's efforts to invest in infrastructure around the world that could have military purposes, including in this hemisphere," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.
We are monitoring closely - added Kirby - we are taking the necessary measures to counter it and we remain confident that we will be able to meet all our security commitments internally and around the world". According to experts, the Chinese base would be able to intercept a wide range of communications, including emails, phone calls and satellite transmissions. And while the Cuban and Chinese embassies in the United States have taken refuge behind a solid no comment, the American officials who are familiar with the dossier are not overwhelmed either about the position chosen to locate the Chinese base or whether its construction has already begun.
The case brings to mind the Cuban crisis of 1962, when the United States and the Soviet Union came to the brink of nuclear war after Moscow decided to deploy its missiles on the coast of Cuba. After three months of very high tension, the the Soviets backed down, while Washington withdrew the missiles it had meanwhile deployed a year earlier in Turkey against which Moscow had protested.