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Is China Planning to Spy on Americans from Cuba?

The federal government denies a report claiming that China will pay Cuba several billion dollars to build a spy base in Cuba. But Governor DeSantis and Senator Marco Rubio express concerns.

HAVANA, CUBA — On Thursday, rumors surfaced that China is planning to set up a surveillance base just 90 miles off the Florida coast in Havana, Cuba.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Beijing and Cuban officials have entered into a secret agreement to build an eavesdropping facility that could monitor communications across the entire southeastern United States, including U.S. Southern and Central Command headquarters based in Florida.


“China is growing its worldwide influence because Joe Biden is weak,” Governor Ron DeSantis said in a statement. “Joe Biden and his administration’s feckless foreign policy emboldens the CCP around the globe – seeking platitudes while Xi inks a deal for Chinese intelligence and military access in America’s backyard.”

“Biden’s refusal to secure our border has allowed Chinese-produced fentanyl to kill our children. And recently, Biden allowed a Chinese spy balloon to fly over the United States with zero consequences for Beijing. America’s national interests are not advanced through performative diplomacy,” DeSantis added.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby denied the report and said it’s inaccurate, telling reporters that Washington is watching the situation closely.


But Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Mark Warner – who lead the Senate Intelligence Committee – said they are “deeply disturbed” by the report.

“The United States must respond to China’s ongoing and brazen attacks on our nation’s security,” they wrote in a statement. “We must be clear that it would be unacceptable for China to establish an intelligence facility within 100 miles of Florida and the United States.”

A Chinese base in Cuba would be the most direct challenge yet to the continental U.S. amid strained relations between the U.S. and China over many issues, including China's desire to take back control of Taiwan.

Earlier this year, China sent a high-altitude surveillance balloon across the United States above sensitive military installations before it was shot down along the east coast by a U.S. fighter jet.