China Exports Tyranny

Cuba’s suppression of the largest anti-government protests in six decades was made possible by China’s export of “digital authoritarianism.” Now the Chinese are more deeply entrenched, just 90 miles from the United States.

“We are not afraid. We want change, we do not want any more dictatorship.” This was the statement a Cuban protester gave to the BBC as the largest protests in six decades tore across the island nation.

This protester, who insisted on anonymity, and tens of thousands of his countrymen had reached a breaking point. They understood that the severe shortages of food, medicine, electricity and basic supplies were the result of their government’s incompetence and corruption. So starting on July 11, they took to the streets in more than 40 cities to demand regime change.

#Cuba Quakes: Mass Protests Put the Regime on Notice #FreeCuba https://t.co/ERPqWF0UvV pic.twitter.com/urFwKE3QuF — Foreign Confidential (@ForeignC) July 31, 2021

Seeing the unprecedented numbers that had come out filled many protesters with hope. From Havana to Santiago de Cuba, they chanted: Freedom! Yes we can! But the Cuban regime answered: Tyranny. No, you can’t. The government shut down the protesters. And a new report shows that it did so thanks largely to the Chinese Communist Party.

Cuba has only one Internet access company: Etecsa. And the main technology providers for Etecsa are all Chinese: ZTE, Huawei and TP-Link. These Chinese firms—all of which are de facto extensions of the CCP—played a major role in building Cuba’s telecommunications networks, including its national fiber-optic network, undersea cables, hot spots and mobile Internet.

Back in 2016, the China Business Network boasted that Beijing’s contributions to Etecsa made China’s position in Cuba as firm as a rock in midstream.”

Last year, the Chinese were found to be using this rock-solid position to export the CCP’s “digital authoritarianism” to the Cuban regime. An investigation by the Swedish Qurium organization proved that China was enabling Cuba’s government to block its people from viewing regime-critical websites—just as China does with the “Great Firewall of China” within its own borders.

When the protests broke out in Cuba, the regime understood that the demonstrators were relying on social media and mobile Internet (which they have only had on the island for three years) to coordinate marches, warn each other of secret police, and broadcast their message beyond the island. In order to disconnect the Cuban people from each other and the wider world, the regime pulled the plug on Internet and mobile networks, and selectively cut landline phone service.

The strategy worked. Within days of the Internet blackout and accompanying government crackdown, the protests fizzled out. The Cuban regime then set to work identifying demonstration leaders and tightening its grip on the island.

This technology shutdown could not have happened without China. “The key to the regime’s ability” to orchestrate the blackout “was China,” Leland Lazarus and Evan Ellis wrote for the Diplomat on August 3.

China’s role in suppressing the Cuban people and prolonging the hardships they suffer at the regime’s hand is shameful. But it also considerably deepens China’s power in Cuba, and therefore presents a danger to the United States.

Geopolitical Futures founder George Friedman warned in July that China’s influence in Cuba, which has expanded significantly thanks to China’s role in squelching the protests, means the Chinese could potentially block American ports without actually blocking them.”

He wrote: “The choke points are the waters between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula and between Cuba and Florida. The port of New Orleans and the port of Houston depend on these two outlets to ship and receive critical commodities for the United States. From Cuba, a long-term threat could be maintained. It is an ideal place from which to manage the U.S.”

The Caribbean is vital to U.S. security. This sea not only connects the East Coast with the Pacific Ocean via the Panama Canal, it guards the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico. Half of America’s seaborne trade passes through the Gulf. So a foreign power that controls the Caribbean could cripple the U.S. economy by restricting its access to oceanic shipping.

This geographic reality is why Russia and China want to challenge U.S. dominance in the Caribbean. These aspiring superpowers are forging alliances with socialist governments in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. If these Latin dictatorships become staging grounds for Russia and China, a coalition of nations could potentially cut off U.S. access to the Panama Canal and seal off the Straits of Florida, the Windward Passage and the Yucatán Channel.

As disturbing as this possibility sounds, these strategic gates and many others, would become economic and military ways to “preparing to storm  America’s castle,” via these sea gates.

In Latin America, Russia and China Push New World Order

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: