Hagerty, Risch, Barrasso, Ricketts, Cruz Introduce Legislation to Impose Sanctions Related to Chinese Spy Base in Cuba

November 7, 2023

WASHINGTON—United States Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jim Risch (R-ID), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Barrasso (R-WY), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) last week introduced the Countering Espionage and Surveillance Entities in Cuba (CEASE) Act, legislation to impose sanctions on any foreign person that has engaged in a significant transaction or provided material support to or for a Chinese military or intelligence facility in Cuba.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s growing malign influence in the Western Hemisphere and strategic ties to Cuba’s Marxist dictatorship pose a threat to U.S. national security,” said Senator Hagerty. “I’m pleased to join my colleagues on this measure to counter the dangers posed by China’s military and intelligence collection facilities in Cuba.”

“The Chinese Communist Party’s deepening military and intelligence partnership with Cuba directly threatens U.S. national security,” said Senator Risch. “The fact that China has multiple intelligence facilities in Cuba less than 100 miles from our shores and in close range to a U.S. military base proves there is no ‘thaw’ in relations with either of these malign actors. The CEASE Act will provide the tools necessary to counter these urgent threats.”

“The Chinese Communist Party has proven time and time again it is willing to lie, cheat, and steal to advance its economic and military strength,” said Senator Barrasso. “Now China is teaming up with a Cuban dictator to establish spy bases only miles away from our border. This legislation is a critical step in safeguarding our country from these serious security threats.”                                                                

“We know the Chinese Communist Party’s espionage has no limits, and it is clear the CCP continues to be emboldened by President Biden’s weakness and his administration’s appeasement,” said Senator Ricketts. “The CCP partnering with communist Cuba – just 90 miles off our shores – should concern us all. We need to get serious about confronting our adversaries’ blatant spying attacks.”

“China is the single greatest geopolitical threat facing the United States will face over the next century,” said Senator Cruz. “As part of their efforts to erode the safety and security of Americans, China is cooperating with American adversaries across the world, including throughout the Western Hemisphere. Their cooperation with the brutal Cuban regime is incredibly dangerous, and the United States must use all the tools at our disposal to counter it.”

The CEASE Act:

  • Authorizes financial and visa sanctions on foreign persons providing significant material support to or for Chinese military and intelligence facilities in Cuba.
  • Requires a State Department report on diplomatic engagement between China and Cuba, on the military and intelligence activities of China in Cuba, and on any progress verifiably closing Chinese military and intelligence facilities in Cuba.

Text of the CEASE Act can be found here.