US rulers double down on lies about Cuba-China ‘spy bases’

By Seth Galinsky
July 17, 2023
May 28 protest at Miami airport against U.S. rulers’ six-decades-long economic and political war on Cuba. Washington’s China “spy base” smears are used to justify tightening embargo.
Militant/Chuck GuerraMay 28 protest at Miami airport against U.S. rulers’ six-decades-long economic and political war on Cuba. Washington’s China “spy base” smears are used to justify tightening embargo.

The administration of President Joseph Biden — along with the Wall Street Journal — is stepping up a drumbeat of baseless allegations that the Cuban government has teamed up with Beijing to set up a spy station in Cuba. Trying to make it sound even more ominous, the White House now charges that Havana might allow Chinese troops to be stationed there.

The Journal first “broke” the story June 8, claiming the Cuban government had made a secret agreement to install a Chinese “eavesdropping station” in exchange for “several billion dollars.”

The Cuban government debunked the story the same day. “All of these are lies with the malicious intention to justify the unprecedented intensification of the blockade, destabilization and aggression against Cuba and to deceive public opinion in the United States and the world,” Cuban Deputy Minister Carlos Fernández de Cossío said.

The response of the White House and the Journal? Double down on their baseless accusations.

First they shifted their story. The White House said the original Journal article was “inaccurate,” and that the Chinese spy station has been operating in Cuba since at least 2019. Then White House sources claimed that Beijing had “reactivated” four Soviet spy stations on the island in 2019.

On June 20 the Journal reported “China and Cuba are negotiating to establish a new joint training facility on the island, sparking alarm in Washington that it could lead to the stationing of Chinese troops and other security and intelligence operations just 100 miles off Florida’s coast.”

The next day the paper claimed, “U.S. officials tracked workers from Chinese telecom companies Huawei Technologies and ZTE entering and exiting suspected Chinese spy facilities in Cuba.” But even they had to admit “neither Huawei nor ZTE” make “the sophisticated tools governments would use for eavesdropping.”

The Journal’s sources? “People familiar with the matter.” Anonymous “current and former U.S. officials” who allegedly have seen “highly classified” documents they describe as “convincing but fragmentary.”

The U.S. government has a long history of concocting fake pretexts to justify hostile actions against the Cuban Revolution. Here are just a few examples:

In 1998 the U.S. government claimed Cuba had set up laboratories to develop biological warfare. An outright lie. Cuba is well known worldwide for its medical system and selfless aid to those in need — including an offer to help the U.S. respond to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Washington insisted it had evidence of so-called sonic attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba — by a “weapon” that exists only in science fiction stories — and pulled out half of its staff from the U.S. Embassy in Havana in 2017.

In 2019 Washington claimed Cuba had 20,000 combat troops in Venezuela. The real number? Zero.

Robert Menendez, a Democrat and chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Michael McCaul, a Republican and chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a joint letter June 22 to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA Director William Burns. Without a shred of evidence they call the allegations “a direct provocation by our adversaries.”

The U.S. rulers have never forgiven the Cuban people for overthrowing the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, nationalizing U.S. companies and putting them under workers control, and opening the first socialist revolution in the Americas. They have never stopped looking for ways to weaken — and they hope, destroy — the revolution.

That’s why they’ve pursued a punishing economic war against the Cuban people for over 60 years under every Democratic and Republican administration.

“We need to keep exposing the lies of the U.S. government, demand an end to Washington’s embargo and get out the truth about the road forward the Cuban Revolution shows for working people the world over,” Róger Calero, Socialist Workers Party candidate for City Council in New York, told the Militant.