Russia ‘to reopen Cold War Cuban listening post used to spy on America’

The former Russian listening station at Lourdes some 20 miles south of Havana is seen in this December 2000. It was mothballed a year later but could reopen, it is reported

Russia has agreed to reopen a major Cold War listening post on Cuba that was used to spy on America, it was reported today.

Moscow-based daily Kommersant claimed Russia and Cuba have struck a deal “in principle” after President Vladimir Putin visited the island last week.

Citing several sources within Russian authorities, the respected daily wrote: “The agreements were finalised while President Vladimir Putin visited Havana last Friday.”

The signals intelligence facility near Havana at Torrens, also known as Lourdes, was the largest Russian SIGINT site abroad, but has been mothballed since 2001.

It covered a 28 square-mile area with 1,000-1,500 Russian engineers, technicians, and military personnel working at the base.

Russia had closed the Lourdes spy base south of Havana on Putin’s orders to save money and due to a warming of relations with the U.S. after the September 11 attacks.

But Moscow has since shown a new interest in Latin America and its Cold War ally Cuba and relations with the West have deteriorated amid the Ukraine crisis…

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