One of the arguments regularly used by those who want to normalize relations with Cuba is that U.S. – Cuba policy is a relic of the Cold War days, and that the idea of Cuba being a threat to U.S. security is silly. They say that idea is only more rabid anti-Castro rhetoric from “those Miami Cubans.”
A hallmark of Fidel Castro’s regime is his hatred for the United States; it has always been his goal to destroy the U.S. This is no secret, and he repeated that threat as recently as 2001, when he stated during a visit to Tehran, “Iran and Cuba, in cooperation with each other, can bring America to its knees.”
The Heritage Foundation’s featured series “Cuba at the Crossroads” is preparing a discussion of the ways that Castro’s Cuba threatens U.S. national security.
Those threats from Cuba include:
Cuba is aggressively spreading anti-Americanism throughout Latin America and is deeply involved in backing and advising the increasingly totalitarian and virulently anti-U.S. regime of Venezuelan dictator-President Hugo Chávez. Since Raul Castro took the reins as acting head of state in 2006, Cuban intelligence services have intensified their targeting of the U.S. Since 9/11, however, U.S. intelligence agencies have reduced the priority assigned to Cuba. Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI) is among the top six intelligence services in the world. Thirty-five of its intelligence officers or agents have been identified operating in the U.S. and neutralized between 1996 and 2003. This is strong evidence of DI’s aggressiveness and hostility toward the U.S. Cuba traffics in intelligence. U.S. intelligence secrets collected by Cuba have been sold to or bartered with Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and other enemies of the United States. China is known to have had intelligence personnel posted to the Cuban Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) site at Bejucal since 2001, and Russia continues to receive Cuban SIGINT information. Additionally, many Cuban intelligence agents and security police are advising Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. Cuban intelligence has successfully compromised every major U.S. military operation since the 1983 invasion of Grenada and has provided America’s enemies with forewarning of impending U.S. operations. Beijing is busy working to improve Cuban signals intelligence and electronic warfare facilities, which had languished after the fall of the Soviet Union, integrating them into China’s own global satellite network. Mary O’Grady of the Wall Street Journal has noted that this means the Chinese army, at a cyber-warfare complex 20 miles south of Havana, can now monitor phone conversations and Internet transmissions in America.
Do any of the presidential candidates possess the character necessary to face this, and the other enormous challenges to our security?
Cross posted at blogforcuba