Lawmakers Demand Classified Briefing on Chinese Spy Base in Cuba

By Eva Fu
Eva Fu
Eva Fu
Reporter
Eva Fu is a New York-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on U.S. politics, U.S.-China relations, religious freedom, and human rights. Contact Eva at eva.fu@epochtimes.com
June 26, 2023Updated: July 3, 2023

Two top lawmakers are pushing the Biden administration to hold a classified briefing on the secret Chinese spy facility in Cuba, flagging the national security implications of the “growing intelligence” the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is gathering not far from American shores.

In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA Director William Burns, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee respectively, wrote in alarm over the reported Cuba–China “military and intelligence partnership.”

Both Congress and the American public “deserve clarity about the national security implications of this direct provocation by our adversaries, and the concrete steps the Administration plans to take in response,” they said.

Epoch Times Photo
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) questions witnesses during a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing in Washington, on Sept. 16, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Since at least 2019, China has been operating an espionage facility on the island, the White House has confirmed. The base, the lawmakers noted, is just some 90 miles off the nearest part of Florida and allows Beijing to monitor and intercept communications in the southeastern United States, potentially targeting military bases, U.S. maritime traffic in the Caribbean, and sensitive communication data. Reports also indicate that key Chinese telecom companies already on the U.S. blacklist may be facilitating such operations, and that the two regimes are in the process to negotiate to establish a joint military training site in Cuba.

“It comes as no surprise to us that the Cuban regime—which has historically opened its doors to foreign adversaries of the United States—and the PRC [People’s Republic of China] are working together to undermine U.S. national security,” Menendez and McCaul wrote. “However, the establishment of intelligence facilities and expansion of military ties this close to U.S. territory is a significant, escalatory step.”

“The American public needs to be assured that their government unequivocally condemns this escalation, and is working to do everything in its power to counter it,” they said, adding that despite the sensitive nature of the matter, Congress needs greater transparency and clarity about these developments to fulfill their oversight duties.

The lawmakers demand to know the “exact nature and objectives” of the Chinese intelligence gathering activities and the military partnership, the implications for U.S. national interests of such efforts, and what plans the Biden administration has to deter them.

They asked for a classified briefing to their committees by July 14.

The Epoch Times has reached out to the State Department and the CIA for comment.