After the cold war Cuba and China have established a strong and comprehensive mutually beneficial alliance. Cuba, economically dependent on China, promotes Chinese interests in Latin America and the Caribbean and brings strategic benefits in two main areas: military intelligence and biotechnology/neuroscience.
Cuba is not a commercial or investment partner of interest, failed to repay multibillion-dollar loans to China and requires a lot of support and humanitarian assistance. However, it provided China with an economic, political and geostrategic offensive in the region that proved to be highly successful.
China has become the first trading partner of South America and the second in the region after the United States. Trade, which has grown from $12 billion in 2000 to $445 billion in 2021, has provided China with new markets and privileged access to raw materials. China’s $150 billion in loans have given it control of critical infrastructure projects, including 56 ports and telecommunications in 29 countries. Military personnel from the region are currently undergoing cybersecurity and military doctrine training in China. All this increases the risks of malicious commercial activity, political and economic coercion., as well as asymmetric attacks on the infrastructure. In addition, she promoted China’s merger with the civilian and military, a strategy designed to make the Chinese military the most advanced in the world and capable of defeating the United States.
Last June Wall Street Magazine it was reported that Cuba and China jointly operate four electronic espionage facilities in Cuba and are in talks to establish a military training center on the island. It has been reported for years that since the 1990s, China has been selling military equipment and training Cuba, participating in joint military and intelligence projects. Chinese presence on electronic spy stations in Cuba (for “signal intelligence” or SIGINT) dates back to the 1990s; one dropout reports that it even started in the 1980s. The details of China’s involvement are unclear, but it has been reported to provide equipment, supplies and technical training to Cuba in exchange for being able to be present on the island and sharing the intelligence it gathers. Radio-electronic activity was disguised as Radio China’s broadcast from Cuba and China’s construction of Cuba’s telecommunications infrastructure.
Numerous defectors have long reported that the Cuban communist regime has always collected a large amount of intelligence about the United States and other countries, which it shares with its allies for rewards and to strengthen relations. According to a confidential interview with a senior Cuban official, the Cuban Radio Electronics Brigade (BERE), which is part of the military intelligence department, is currently in charge of SIGINT operations. from an underground facility south of Havana. The brigade’s priority has always been to intercept all US military communications within its reach in the continental United States, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. He also systematically monitors the Cuban population. and foreign targets in Cuba, as well as conducting encrypted communications with its embassies, intelligence centers and an extensive network of spies around the world.
With the help of China Cuba also used computer technology to strategically monitor Venezuela. and extend digital authoritarianism to the regions. armies trolls Cuba promoted their interests in cyberspace, and the information war even confused air traffic controllers in New York and silenced pro-democracy transmissions to Iran.
China’s electronic espionage from Cuba increased in 2019, according to the US government. Coincidentally, at the height of the economic crisis, Cuba imported Chinese transmission equipment in surprisingly large quantities. Between 2016 and 2021, this figure rose sharply to US$276.6 million, surpassing China’s imports of food and medical supplies, while total imports declined.
Another fundamental element of the Cuban-Chinese relationship is their strategic biotechnology alliance., which is in line with the Chinese government’s mandate to expand its biotechnology industry to surpass that of the United States and the West. China has drawn on Cuba’s knowledge and experience in technology transfer in at least 30 joint biotechnology projects. This is worrisome because Cuba has had bioweapons capability since the 1980s, and several defectors reported a suspected bioweapons program as early as the early 2000s.
Cuba and China are also conducting joint research in neurotechnology and bioengineering. they are developing five neurotechnological products. Cuban neuroscience and mind control programs date back to the 1960s and were used to torture political opponents and American POWs in Vietnam. Since the 1980s, Cuba has developed new neurological drugs and treatments through experimental practices of questionable safety and ethical deficits, as well as allegations of atrocities.
The US government warns that China is seeking to acquire technology to dominate the biotech and neuroscience sectors. In December 2021, the United States banned the export and transfer of the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences and eleven organizations believed to be involved in the development of mind control weapons to dominate Chinese citizens and suppress minorities. Various reports from the People’s Liberation Army have detailed ongoing research into mind control using technologies designed to suppress the enemy, as well as “neuroprotection” equipment and microchips implanted in the brain to protect against such attacks.
It is difficult to obtain evidence of these illegal activities. Military and intelligence operations are inherently secret, and biotech and neuroscience institutions operate under tight control in the two authoritarian states of China and Cuba. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct a thorough study of all potential threats. The international community should demand expert inspection of Cuban biotech facilities., including its international activities and exports, to verify compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention. In addition, collaboration in neuroscience, which has dual-purpose capabilities, should be explored.
The United States has laws and regulations in place that, if fully implemented, will better contain Cuba, limit resources for dictatorship, and help the Cuban people gain freedom. A comprehensive review is needed to ensure that they are implemented in full, starting with those required under the definition of “state sponsor of terrorism”, the Cuban Democratic Freedom and Solidarity Law (Helms Burton) and the Victims of Trafficking Law. If the Cuban economy and regime hegemony continue to weaken, China may have to rethink its investment in the Caribbean island. And the region will greatly benefit from a free and democratic Cuba.
Maria C. Werlau is co-founder and director of Archivo Cuba. This article is based on a scientific paper due to be published by the end of 2023.
This article was originally published on theglobalamericans.org