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‘New Cold War’: Lawmakers sound alarm on Cuba-China threat after bombshell spy base images surface

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The congressman whose district is less than 100 miles from Cuba sounded the alarm after a bombshell investigation revealed several images of advanced spy bases in the communist nation.

Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., said in a Wednesday interview there is no doubt China has a big hand in the construction and operation of the bases.

Gimenez elaborated after the bipartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) released the imagery while noting China’s official activity there ‘remain[s] shrouded in secrecy.’

Gimenez voiced counterintelligence concerns, noting his district alone houses the Key West Naval Air Station, Homestead Air Force Base and is within a mile of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).

‘[This] is an example of the growing influence of China and Russia in our hemisphere,’ Gimenez said.

‘The Biden administration continues to placate our enemies in the hemisphere instead of trying to do what they can to get [nonviolent] regime change,’ he said.

Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., attributed Biden’s ‘weakness’ to the proliferation of CCP influence offshore.

‘America must respond with strength and tell the Cuban regime that we will not allow them to restart this new Cold War right on our doorstep,’ Salazar said.

One or more of the sites mapped out by CSIS, Gimenez said, are less than 100 miles from his district. He said it is like having a spy base surveilling Miami from as close as the other end of Alligator Alley in Naples.

He slammed the White House for continuing Obama-era diplomatic ‘opening’ toward Cuba’s totalitarian regime.

However, Gimenez added that some Democrats, particularly in Florida, are equally concerned about China’s malign influence in Cuba and the Diaz-Canel regime itself, naming Reps. Deborah Wasserman Schultz, Jared Moskowitz and Frederica Wilson.

He warned the Chinese could use the Cuban bases to observe offshore U.S. military training and simulation exercises. That would give China an inside look at how the U.S. would respond to an invasion of Taiwan, he said.

CSIS’ Hidden Reach researchers Matthew Funaiole, Aidan Powers-Riggs, Brian Hart, Henry Ziemer, Joseph Bermudez Jr., Ryan Berg and Christopher Hernandez-Roy warned of the proximity between the bases and the numerous sensitive U.S. installations in Florida and the southeast in their report.

The researchers on Monday revealed four sites believed to be supporting Chinese efforts to spy on the U.S. using signals intelligence (SIGINT). CSIS defines SIGINT as a ‘core’ aspect of spycraft and a venue through which civilian and military entities can intercept others’ transmissions.

A top national security expert said China is expanding into places like Cuba to interfere in America’s sphere of influence.

‘Communist China’s latest actions are unprecedented and to-date the Biden administration has made no response. It will fall to the next president to stand up for the security of the American people in our own hemisphere,’ former Deputy National Security Adviser Victoria Coates said.

Coates said China is also simultaneously interceding in America’s backyard through its new Bahamian embassy in Nassau and a Peruvian deepwater ‘mega-port.’

Gimenez, who is the only Cuban-born congressman, said he holds out hope the island rids itself of Chinese and Russian influence.

When asked how long it might take to see real change in Havana, Gimenez pointed to the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and how Germany quickly returned to a democracy.

If former President Trump returns to the White House in 2025, he said, the Republican’s past overtures toward the Cuba situation show change could be possible within his next term.

In turn, he faulted the Biden administration for repeatedly acting ‘counter to American interests.’

‘This secretary of state is the worst secretary of state that we’ve had in American history. I think he’s done more damage in four years than just about anybody else that I can remember,’ he said.

The State Department did not directly address Gimenez’ criticism of Blinken, but it cited remarks from spokesperson Vedant Patel on the bases themselves.

‘I’m not going to comment on or confirm or get into the specifics of that report, but what I can say is that we remain confident that the United States is going to be able to meet our security commitments at home and in the region,’ Patel said Tuesday.

‘PRC activities in Cuba have been going on for decades, and … we know that the PRC is going to keep trying to enhance its presence in Cuba and the United States is going to keep working to disrupt it.’

Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., a member of the Homeland Security Committee, echoed concerns over the White House’s handling of the China threat when asked about the photos.

‘[China] will continue to expand their espionage of the United States without fear of consequence because they know Joe Biden will not hold them accountable,’ Marshall said.

‘Not only are they using Cuba to house Chinese ‘spy bases,’ they are sending in Chinese nationals through our southern border, shipping over lethal fentanyl, stealing our intellectual property, and purchasing land near our military bases.’

The office of Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines declined comment. The White House also did not respond.

Several Democrat lawmakers also did not respond to requests for comment.

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