While the liberal media focus on the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, Samuel Alito and the like, Cuba’s Castro government announced recently it will be opening a consulate in Guandong, China, in order to support Chinese trade and investment in Cuba. Just before Christmas, reports from Havana said China extended a “multimillion-dollar loan” to the Castro government as well.
The reports also said Cuban Parliament Leader Ricardo Alarcon and Luo Gan, a member of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, talked about the “excellent political, economic and [Communist] party ties between China and Cuba.”
Alarcon, according to some wire service reports, stressed that the visit by Luo Gan is an expression of the ties that will continue to strengthen.
The latest Cuban Foreign Trade Ministry figures say buses, pressure cookers, light bulbs, refrigerators, television sets and bicycles from China are now flooding the Cuban economy.
The Cuban Foreign Trade Ministry figures also point out that China is becoming a bigger investor in the Communist island. The figures say that as of September 2005, China rose from being Cuba’s fourth biggest trading partner in 2004 to being the second biggest now.
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Castro government has had to reach out to China because of the Soviet economic spigot was cut off. It also looks like China will be hanging around in our hemisphere for some time to come.
In an excellent article that ran during Christmas weekend, the Miami Herald reported that the Communist Chinese government plans several projects for massive investments in Cuba that are designed to keep the Castro government going.
''We have never had so many and such important projects,'' Cuban Foreign Investment Minister Marta Loma told the Miami Herald.
The Herald article also pointed out some of the key deals between China and the Castro government:
A month after Cuban leader Fidel Castro announced an oil discovery off Cuban waters early this year, the government signed a production-sharing agreement with Sinopec, China's second-largest state oil company.
The deal involves drilling just a few dozen miles from Key West, Fla.
After a 12-day tour of Latin America last year, Chinese President Hu Jintao announced his country would invest more than $500 million in Cuba's nickel industry. Cuba, which holds one of the world's largest nickel reserves, agreed to send 4,400 tons a year to China.
The deal also included a 10-year postponement of payments on the debt to China that Cuba incurred between 1990 and 1994.
China will sell 1,000 of the Yutong-brand buses to Cuba on easy credit terms, and has already delivered about 200, according to Cuban government announcements.
Why is China investing so much in Cuba? Because China has it eye on the United States. I remember as a reporter in Florida seeing evidence of how China has been doing electronic eavesdropping from Cuba on America, especially on our military channels.
Back in 2001, Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R.) said China already has "two electronic eavesdropping stations in Cuba." Some news reports indicated that great numbers of Chinese are monitoring telephone calls at the electronic espionage facility located in Paseo between 11th and 13th Streets in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana.
The Heritage Foundation in a study about China found that the Castro government has been allowing China to eavesdrop on the United States. The study also found that China is expanding militarily throughout Latin America as well.
The study said in part, “On the military front, China has expanded ties through exchanges. It reportedly has direct military-to-military relations with Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay. The PRC [People’s Republic of China] began collaborating with Brazil on spy satellite technology in 1999, providing rocket launch expertise in exchange for digital optical technology that would permit high resolution, real-time imaging. Moreover, access to Brazil’s space tracking facilities could give China the ability to attack U.S. satellites with a variety of technologies currently under development.”
“Perhaps,” the Heritage study continued, “the most fruitful collaboration has been with Dictator Fidel Castro. In 1999, China was reportedly intercepting satellite signals from facilities in eastern Cuba. In 2000, it obtained access to a base outside of Havana to intercept U.S. telephony. In 2001, Russia announced that it would abandon its extensive electronic espionage center at Lourdes. PRC personnel reportedly now occupy it. A February 2004 agreement cloaks such operations under the pretext of technical communications cooperation. In fact, Radio China International signals originate from Cuba, as does interference with U.S. East Coast radio communications and air traffic control, according to Federal Communications Commission complaints.”
I can testify about the Radio China signals because they come in so clear on my short wave radio receiver, it is like you are listening to a local radio station. I remember working in Florida during the late 70s when the Castro government beamed Radio Moscow -- now known as the voice of Russia from Cuban booster stations. I could hear Radio Moscow at night on my car radio as clear as a local station. The Castro government never gives up in trying to shove its Communist ideology down America’s throat, no matter what.
It is obvious that China has its eye on the United States. Unfortunately, we do not hear much about it. I hope America’s intelligence agencies are watching the potential threat.
America must be on the lookout for potential Chinese industrial as well as military espionage.
American companies should quit their heavy investing in China. Hasn’t President Nixon’s “détente” policies toward China and Russia proved that you huge economic investments only benefit the dictatorships and not the people. American investment in China by General Motors and other companies has not made things nice and wonderful for the people there and it causes the Chinese government to invest in Cuba and keep its eye on the United States.
If America does not watch what is going on in our backyard we will have conflict instead of democratic reform, we will see a further retrenchment of regimes in both Cuba and China that are run by gangsters and thugs, the world's worst human rights abusers.
Mr. Burns worked for several years on Capitol Hill. He previously reported on Cuba and Latin America as a correspondent for Cybercast News Service and United Press International.
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