China’s spying activity in Cuba opens old US wounds

Missile crisis is etched in the American psyche after the world was brought to the brink of nuclear war

From the corridors of power in Washington to Main Street USA, the Cuban missile crisis is etched in the American psyche. More than 60 years after the world was brought to the brink of nuclear destruction, the scars are still visible. 

Collateral damage from the 13-day standoff in 1962 when the United States discovered Soviet Union missiles on the Caribbean island. It was at the height of the Cold War and just before Moscow opened its largest surveillance site outside the Cuban capital of Havana.

Fast forward six decades and President Joe Biden’s administration has confirmed that China is eavesdropping on its doorstep despite repeated denials from Beijing.

“The Chinese Communist Party is executing the Soviet Union’s playbook,” Republican congressman Mike Waltz, a member of the US House Intelligence and Armed Services committees, told Politico.

“If that’s not evidence enough that we’re in a new Cold War, I don’t know what is,” the former White House advisor and Green Beret said about China’s “spy operations” in Cuba.

Back to the future:

  • Behind the scenes, diplomatic moves ended the standoff in 1962. 
  • Moscow removed the missiles and Washington ended its naval blockade of Cuba. 
  • A “hotline” between the Kremlin and the White House was installed.

There is no turning back for Comrade Xi Jinping’s regime.

Delve deeper: The Caribbean island is roughly 100 miles, or slightly more than 160 kilometers, from the Florida Keys. Right in “America’s backyard.”

Why it matters: China has been quick to evoke the Cuban crisis to condemn Washington’s Cold War mindset. At the same time, it has ramped up surveillance and military operations.

Between the lines: “Shaping China in the mold of the Soviet Union … is a bipartisan effort in Washington … the US political circle is enthusiastically playing the role of Cold War warrior en masse,” state-controlled China Daily stated in an editorial

Delusionary days: Hu Xijin, the former editor-in-chief of Global Times, stuck to Beijing’s script in a commentary for the state-run tabloid. “[China] is not a country that actively projects intelligence and military power. Let alone being aggressive,” he said.

China Factor comment: There is no turning back for Comrade Xi Jinping’s regime. The Communist Party has already perfected the surveillance state at home. Spying abroad is just the next logical step in making China the dominant global power.