China reportedly constructing new spy base in Cuba near U.S. territory

Satellite images reveal a facility at El Salao, raising concerns over national security and China's expanding influence in Latin America.

China reportedly constructing new spy base in Cuba near U.S. territory
AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File
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New satellite images suggest that China is building a military intelligence facility in Cuba, close to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

The Wall Street Journal reports that construction of the previously undisclosed base began early in President Biden's administration.

Located in El Salao, a town outside Santiago de Cuba, the facility is reportedly designed to accommodate a large circular antenna array capable of intercepting electronic signals.

While utilizing older technology, the base is expected to have the capacity to monitor activities at the nearby U.S. naval installation.

This development marks the fourth such Chinese facility on Cuban soil, with others situated in Bejucal, Wajay, and Calabazar.

Intelligence officials express concern that these bases pose a significant threat to U.S. national security, potentially enabling China to intercept sensitive communications from military bases, space facilities, and commercial shipping, as well as monitor American citizens.

The construction of this base is part of China's broader strategy to expand its influence in Latin America and the Caribbean. Other notable Chinese projects in the region include a megaport in Peru that U.S. officials fear could alter regional power dynamics, efforts to increase influence in Argentina, Honduras, Colombia, and Brazil, and plans for a Chinese-run special economic zone on Antigua, featuring its own customs and immigration procedures.

These developments reflect China's apparent aim to challenge U.S. dominance in the region and advance its position as a global superpower.

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