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Foreign AffairsHavana on reports that China is establishing a spy base in Cuba: lies and slander

Havana on reports that China is establishing a spy base in Cuba: lies and slander

Cuba’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Carlos Fernandez de Cosio, said in a statement read to the press in Havana: “The American Wall Street Journal published on June 8 completely false and unfounded information indicating that there was an agreement between Cuba and China in the military field to establish a supposed spy base.”

He added that Cuba “rejects any foreign military presence” in Latin America, “including the numerous military bases and (affiliated) forces of the United States”, believing that “slanders of this type are often fabricated by American officials”. .

What do the US reports say?

The Wall Street Journal reported that Beijing and Havana have struck a secret deal to set up a Chinese wiretapping facility on the Caribbean island that would allow it to monitor communications across the southeastern United States. . The newspaper quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying China would pay Cuba “several billion dollars” in exchange for building the facility. Similarly, the American channel “CNN” quoted “sources close to American intelligence” as saying that there was a similar agreement. The network reported that “the United States has learned about this project over the past few weeks,” but “it is not yet confirmed if China has started building the monitoring facility.”

How did the White House and US officials handle these reports?

The White House on Thursday also denied reports that China plans to establish a surveillance base in Cuba off the US coast. Previously, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby denied the reports. In a statement to MSNBC, Kirby said, “I’ve seen this press report. It’s not accurate.” Kirby added, “What I can tell you is that we have been concerned since day one of this administration about Chinese influence activities around the world, certainly in this hemisphere and in this region. We are monitoring that from very close.” In turn, Pentagon spokesman Pat Riley called the Wall Street Journal report inaccurate, saying, “We have no knowledge of China and Cuba building any station The relationship these two countries are building is something we constantly monitor.” Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Republican Marco Rubio, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee and is generally briefed on important security issues, expressed in a statement of their “serious concern” regarding the report of the “Wall Street Journal”. “The United States must respond to China’s continued and brazen attacks on our nation’s security,” their joint statement read. “It is unacceptable for China to establish an intelligence facility within 100 miles of Florida and the United States,” the statement continued.

Where is the danger of such an installation?

A base in Cuba, located just 150 kilometers off the coast of southern Florida, would pose the most direct threat to the American continent to date. In the eastern United States is the headquarters of the Army’s Southern and Central Command, both in Florida. The Soviet Union had electronic espionage facilities in Cuba to monitor the United States. In 1962, Moscow established a nuclear missile base in Cuba, and the United States imposed a blockade on the island, which threatened to confront the two superpowers of the time, before reaching an agreement to resolve the crisis. The Soviet Union withdrew its nuclear missiles from Cuba, while Washington withdrew its nuclear-capable missiles from Turkey, after the Soviets saw it as a threat to them. Reports of Chinese movement in Cuba come after a high-altitude Chinese balloon was spotted over the United States earlier this year crossing the country from west to east over sensitive military installations before to be shot down by an American fighter off the east coast.

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Arab Desk
Arab Desk
The Eastern Herald’s Arab Desk validates the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on easternherald.com.

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