Everything We Know About The Huge Spy Base In Cuba That Russia Is Reopening
Moscow and Havana have agreed to reopen a Cold War-era signals intelligence (SIGINT) base in Lourdes, Cuba.
An agreement was reached during Putin’s visit to Cuba last week to reopen the base, Russia business daily Kommersant reported last week. That was confirmed by a Russian security source who told Reuters: “A framework agreement has been agreed.”
The base was set up in 1964 after the Cuban missile crisis had brought the U.S. and Soviet Union close to confrontation over Moscow’s proposal to place nuclear weapons on Cuban soil.
Havana shut it down in 2001 because of financial issues and American pressure.
Located south of Cuba’s capital Havana and just 150 miles from the U.S. coast, the base left many parts of the U.S. vulnerable to Soviet communication intercepts, including exchanges between Florida space centers and U.S. spacecraft.
Here’s what a Congressional report from 2000 said about the facility:
- The Secretary of Defense formally expressed concerns to Congress regarding the espionage complex at Lourdes, Cuba, and its use as a base for intelligence directed against the United States.
- The Secretary of Defense, referring to a 1998 Defense Intelligence Agency assessment, reported that the Russian Federation leased the Lourdes facility for an estimated $100 million to $300 million a year.
- It has been reported that the Lourdes facility was the largest such complex operated by the Russian Federation and its intelligence service outside the region of the former Soviet Union.
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