After being closed for 13 years, the Russian government is set to reopen its electronic spying center in Lourdes, Cuba. The agreement to reopen the facility was signed by the Cuban and Russian regimes during Vladimir Putin’s visit to the Caribbean island last week.
The news was announced by Russian newspaper, Kommersant, which cited official Kremlin sources, although the name of the source was not given. The Lourdes facility was closed 13 years ago due to the poor economic situation in Russia and also due to repeated repeats made by the U.S..
“Our relations with the U.S. are much too deteriorated, even before the Ukrainian crisis. In reality they never really improved, except for some specific periods that have been the exception to the rule,” said a senior Russian official.
The sophisticated radar system is capable of capturing electronic signals as far as 2,000 kilometers and it can cover almost the entire United States territory. The facility was installed in the suburb of Wajay, in the southwest of Havana back in 1964.
The Wajay radar system was expanded and modernized after the disintegration of the USSR, and “today it is even more useful, because unlike back then, Russia has no means of electronic surveillance in space and its ability to intercept communications are far lower,” described Kommersant.
The Lourdes radar system was built by the Soviet military intelligence services so it would allow the USSR to obtain Washington’s plans against Iraq in 1991.
A former KGB defector revealed in 1998 that after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the “Desert Storm” campaign in January 1991, Moscow maintained complete surveillance about America’s and the international coalition’s war plans to invade the Arab country.