China Expands Spy Operations In Cuba Near US Military Base

New satellite images reveal that China is significantly expanding its electronic eavesdropping operations in Cuba. These developments include the construction of new facilities roughly 70 miles from the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay.

In 2022, China and Cuba enhanced their defense and intelligence cooperation. This collaboration included establishing a joint military training facility and a spy base on the island. According to U.S. officials, China and Cuba were already running joint espionage operations before these recent expansions.

Cuba’s proximity to the U.S. offers the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) strategic advantages, enabling them to intercept sensitive communications from American military and space installations. The upgraded eavesdropping stations also enhance China’s capability to spy on U.S. citizens through telecommunications networks.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) used satellite imagery to identify enhancements at four key locations in Cuba: Bejucal, El Salao, Wajay, and Calabazar. Among these, Bejucal has been upgraded to better monitor and communicate with satellites, benefiting China’s military and space endeavors. The newest site, El Salao, is positioned to intercept communications from Guantanamo Bay directly.

Historically, Cuba has been a hotspot for international espionage. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union operated a signals intelligence site near Havana, and the infamous Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 nearly triggered a nuclear war due to Soviet missile placements on the island.

The Biden administration has not commented on the recent expansions of Chinese spy bases in Cuba. However, the CCP’s boldness in its espionage activities against the United States has increased under the current administration. A notable incident occurred in 2023 when a Chinese spy balloon flew over the U.S. for weeks without being challenged, highlighting the growing espionage threats from China.