InfrastructureIntelligenceNational DefenseNational SecurityOSINTTerrorism

China Has a Spy Base in Cuba

China has been operating a spy base in Cuba since at least 2019, part of a global effort by Beijing to upgrade its intelligence-gathering capabilities.

The U.S. intelligence community has been aware of China’s spying from Cuba and a larger effort to set up intelligence-gathering operations around the globe for some time.

The United States believes the little-known base, just 116 miles (187 km) from Key West, Florida is used to intercept U.S. electronic communications, according to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) document from November 2022.

China maintains physical presences at Soviet-era intelligence facilities at Bejucal in what appears to be a signals intelligence collection operation,” the FCC document says, citing a 2018 report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

The existence of the Chinese spy base was confirmed after The Wall Street Journal reported that China and Cuba had reached an agreement in principle to build an electronic eavesdropping station on the island. The Journal reported that China planned to pay a cash-strapped Cuba billions of dollars as part of the negotiations.

The U.S. intelligence community had determined that Chinese spying from Cuba has been an “ongoing” matter and is “not a new development.”

From The Shadows Emerges Knowledge