TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A secret deal reportedly reached between China and Cuba to establish an electronic eavesdropping facility roughly 100 miles from Florida is raising concern.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who also serves as the Vice Chair of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said he is “deeply disturbed by reports that Havana and Beijing are working together to target the United States and our people.”
The deal, first reported by the Wall Street Journal said the multi-billion dollar agreement could be an unprecedented new threat right in the U.S.’s own backyard. Tampa, another 200 miles north of Miami is also home to the headquarters of U.S. Central Command.
“The United States must respond to China’s ongoing and brazen attacks on our nation’s security,” Rubio added. “We must be clear that it would be unacceptable for China to establish an intelligence facility within 100 miles of Florida and the United States.”
“We urge the Biden administration to take steps to prevent this serious threat to our national security and sovereignty.”
Officials in the White House and Pentagon already cast doubt on the agreement.
“While I cannot speak to this specific report, we are well aware of—and have spoken many times to—the People’s Republic of China’s efforts to invest in infrastructure around the world that may have military purposes, including in this hemisphere,” John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, said.
Kirby told Reuters he has “seen the report” but said, “It’s not accurate.” He did not specify what he thought was incorrect.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington told the outlet “We are not aware of the case and as a result we can’t give a comment right now.”