In December 2021, Cuba became the latest country to sign up. Will the Latin American nation come to regret this decision?
Not only is the CCP planning to reshape Cuba’s infrastructural landscape, it's planning to reshape the minds of the masses. What have culture, education, and communications got to do with the BRI—an initiative ostensibly designed to promote the construction of bridges, buildings, and roads?
Controlling the Cuban PeopleOn July 11 of last year, anti-government protests took place in towns and cities throughout Cuba. The protests—which were fueled by a lack of access to basic provisions (including food and healthcare)—turned violent, leaving several people injured. At least 140 Cubans were detained or were disappeared.
Protesters used social media to highlight the brutality of the Cuban regime and the manner in which people were being beaten and bullied. Some protesters called on the U.S. government to intervene.
Rubio’s final point—concerning China’s ability to manipulate the internet in Cuba—is a particularly interesting one, not to mention a particularly worrying one.
Soon after Rubio posted his comments on Twitter, internet outages occurred across Cuba, preventing innocent people from sharing further evidence of government-backed violence.
In December 2020, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting released a rather telling report. According to the authors, in Cuba, “only one company, the state-owned Etecsa, provides internet access. According to its own corporate magazine, Etecsa’s primary technology providers are three Chinese companies: Huawei, TP-Link, and ZTE.”
Three years before this particular report, the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), a global community dedicated to combating internet censorship, “found traces of Chinese codes in both the surface and the interfaces used for access portals for wifi connections.”
It’s important to stress that Qurium is an expert in digital forensics, meaning that its analysis—and warnings—are accurate.
It is abundantly clear that China’s involvement in Cuba goes far beyond the construction of various buildings and roads. CCP-backed businesses play an integral role in limiting what the Cuban people see and when they see it. For years, Beijing played a major role in silencing voices throughout the volatile nation. Now, the latest BRI agreement may very well prove to be the final nail in the Cuban coffin.
Will the Latin American nation regret signing a deal with the devil? It depends on who you ask. The tyrants in power will say no; everyday citizens, however, will say yes.