A Cuban official criticized the United States government on Thursday after the country’s Justice Department recommended that an undersea telecommunications cable to Cuba not be built due to “a significant counterintelligence threat” that could occur due to the two’s long-standing rivalry.

The Federal Communications Commission was recommended by a special panel on Wednesday to not go through a proposed project to build an undersea telecommunications cable between the U.S. and Cuba due to the continued “counterintelligence threat” that the latter has, according to a released DOJ report.

The proposed ARCOS-1 Cable System expansion would be the only telecommunications link that Cuba would have with the U.S., and raised concerns from the intelligence community due to the cable-landing system on the former country's side being run by its telecoms monopoly Empresa de Telecommunicaciones de Cuba S.A. (ETECSA), which could be used to access U.S. data from that end.

It is also believed that the Cuban government could use this subsea telecommunications cable as a way of accessing other countries’ data, and that their close relationship with Russia and China might allow that data to leak to those countries’ counterintelligence divisions.

“As long as the Government of Cuba poses a counterintelligence threat to the United States, and partners with others who do the same, the risks to our critical infrastructure are simply too great,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen said.

After the release of this recommendation, Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cossio in Cuba criticized the recommendation, and has accused the U.S. of doublespeak to continue their attempts to upend the Cuban government, Reuters reported.

“This is the way in which the government of the United States pretends to comply with its declared commitment to promote internet use in Cuba, and its concerns for the well-being of the Cuban people,” de Cossio tweeted.

Olsen continued to emphasize that “The United States supports an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable internet around the world, including in Cuba,” but that the national security risks are too great to allow the project to move forward.

Cuba Telecoms Cable Rejection Rep. Pic
A Cuban official criticized the United States on Thursday after a report was submitted to the FCC showing that a undersea telecoms cable between Cuba and the U.S. was too much of a national security risk to continue. This is a representational image. Thomas Jensen/Unsplash.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.