RealNews

Beijing spies a useful friend in Castro

Cuba’s veteran communist leader Fidel Castro received a warm welcome yesterday in Beijing on his way home from the Non-Aligned Movement meeting in Malaysia. But this does not reflect admiration for his ideological convictions or appreciation for Latin music. The “buena vista” (good view) most appreciated is the vantage point Dr Castro provides for the Chinese military in spying on the United States. According to Professor Desmond Ball of the Australian National University, Chinese personnel have been operating two intelligence signal stations in Cuba since early 1999, after an agreement reached in February 1998. One is a large complex at Bejucal, just south of Havana, which is equipped with 10 satellite communications antennas and is mainly concerned with intercepting telephone communications in the US. A “cyber warfare” unit is also based at Bejucal, which monitors data traffic, Professor Ball said in a paper delivered to a conference on China’s military role, held in New Delhi last month. Full Story

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