The Russians have made public their plans to reopen the Lourdes Intelligence Station, according to multiple outlets including the Guardian, the BBC, and the UK Star. The Intelligence facility, located adjacent to Havana, was once the foreign largest military the USSR occupied. While the base was used for multiple different purposes, it most notably housed equipment for signals intelligence collection purposes ranging from monitoring radio traffic to active jamming. As technology evolved, so did its role- including being used to actively intercept US government satellite communications for both military and civilian agency use. Partnered with the Cuban DI, the base also served as a training station much the same way the CIA School of the Americas (later known as WHINSEC) does for fostering US interests in South and Central American nations. According to the Guardian in his most recent Latin American tour, Russian President Putin:
…also signed agreements to establish positioning stations in Argentina, Brazil and Cuba for Glonass, Russia’s answer to the United States’ global positioning system (GPS). He also made a surprise stop to discuss placing a Glonass station in Nicaragua, where president Daniel Ortega called Putin’s first visit to the country a “ray of light”.”The goal of Putin’s visit to Cuba, Nicaragua and Argentina was to strengthen geopolitical connections with Latin America in response to the United States’ attempts to isolate Russia,” Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s parliament, tweeted after the trip.
Such a statement regarding Daniel Ortega is concerning, given the most recent abuses by the Leftist regime. But the example serves to illustrate Russia’s continuing commitment to supporting abusive puppet Leftist governments in South and Central America to further destabilize the United States’ relationships with our southern neighbors while also continuing political turmoil in those nations- which produces the flood of migrants we see on our border. Venezuela is a perfect example, unable to feed its people yet funding the so-called migrant caravan. Someone is propping them up. The Soviet Union never changed its long term plan.
The building of GLONASS positioning systems also provides a prime cover for action to build lots of other infrastructure, including GPS jamming systems. Both the Russians and the Chinese have been successful in their attempts to spoof both military and civilian GPS receivers. During the latest NATO exercise in Scandinavia, western forces were successfully jammed despite NATO reports to the contrary. Norway even lost a relatively new Frigate in an apparent collision with a merchant tanker, eerily similar to two incidents involving US Navy Destroyers USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain. It would be safe to conclude that more of this will be happening in the future, much closer to home.
The Russians are not alone in their rekindled interests in Cuba. The Chinese are there also. The base in Lourdes is also home to Chinese interests since at least 1999, according to globalsecurity.org. Noted in the article:
In mid-1999, it was reported that the main Chinese intelligence collection facilities in Cuba were located northeast of Santiago de Cuba and in Bejucal, in the province of Havana [located at 22°55’43″N 082°23’19″E ]. Reportedly China signed an agreement in 2000 with the Cuban government to use Cuba’s satellite intercept facility at Bejucal, southwest of Havana. The facility, located near the Russian facility at Lourdes, was built in the early 1990’s with Russian equipment.
Using google earth as an open source imagery guide, I’ve downloaded sites of interest in the area. Logistically the base can serve a wide variety of functions and has a 3200 meter runway airstrip. It is located just west of the center of the Universidad de Siencias Informaticas, which is also the suspected location of parts of the Russian base.
The airfield can support very large aircraft moving in and has a direct road leading north into another complex with large buildings. This is a suspected joint Russian-Chinese military base, likely housing the bulk of the current signals intelligence equipment. While one of the goals of the signals collection and intelligence was specifically aimed at satellites, the complex also houses an antenna farm in the northeast corner which could possibly be used as a long distance re-transmission site for ground and air communications. This would make sense to armed forces understanding the vulnerabilities to satellite communications and creating a robust alternative. In addition to the other infrastructure, a possible missile launching platform is also present with the size and capability unknown to this author. But taking into consideration the rising tensions over the proposed exit of the Intermediate and Short range nuclear weapons treaty, its likely that those weapons will be nuclear capable.
With the tensions mounting abroad and political instability ever increasing within the US, it seems likely that there’s a prime opportunity to continue to destabilize the United States. With the Chinese having a large hand in the funding of academic think tanks and purchasing Spanish language propaganda outlets just south of the border, they appear to be ready to exploit the conditions of revolution that they have helped create on multiple fronts- and most dangerously, an influx of migrants and brainwashed Maoist intelligentsia. The Sino-Russian alliance has a clear goal that extends past simply partying in the US’ back yard. They want us off the world stage. They’re building 50,000 AK-103 carbines in Caracas for a reason.
If you’ve been on the fence about seeking training, there’s no time like the present. Build those skills and capabilities. We’re filling up the training calendar for the first part of 2019. Do not miss an opportunity to broaden that knowledge base.