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A Chinese Listening Post in Cuba: What It Means for the US

Thought Leader: Peter Zeihan
June 20, 2023

The news of a “new” Chinese listening post in Cuba sparks the question: why is Cuba so important to the US? No, we’re not talking about cigars. We’re talking about Cuba’s role in American strategic planning.

With control of the Florida Straits and the Straits of Yucatán, Cuba commands access to the Gulf of Mexico. For those who need a refresher, the gulf is critical to American power, capital generation, agriculture, and energy, second only to the Mississippi system. Hence the whole Cuban Missile Crisis back in the day.

Now I’m not worried about China playing any significant role in Cuba because they’ve had this post for years and China cannot command power at a distance. However, this doesn’t mean things won’t get interesting with Cuba. There are only a few ways that I could see this playing out.

Option one is the diplomatic route of bringing Cuba into the North American family or even NAFTA. Option two is the military route, which would involve America’s favorite pastime of overthrowing the government and/or occupation. OR Cuba and the US can meet somewhere in the middle and play a good ole fashion game of economic warfare.

In all reality, the US will probably just wait this out…unless a real threat to American security decides to try its luck.

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