Lourdes SIGINT station
|Lourdes SIGINT station|
|Condition||Partially demolished/converted; scheduled for a reopening|
The Lourdes SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) facility, located near Havana, Cuba, was the largest facility of its kind operated by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service outside of Russia. Located less than 150 km (93 mi) from Key West, the facility covered 73 km2 (28 sq mi). Construction began in July 1962.
The station was closed in August 2002.
All station facilities were shut down, the buildings were abandoned and later reconstructed to become what is now the University of Information Science.
At its peak during the Cold War, the facility was staffed by over 1,500 KGB, GRU, Cuban DGI, and Eastern Bloc technicians, engineers and intelligence operatives. In 2000, it was reported that China signed an agreement with the Cuban government to share use of the facility for its own intelligence agency.
The base was closed in 2002. Russia had paid Cuba a $200m annual subsidy to this point since 1962.
In July 2014, reports surfaced that Russia and Cuba agreed to reopen the facility for usage by Russian intelligence. However, Russia Today later removed their original story and replaced it with one denying there was such an agreement.
In popular culture
- The station was a key plot device in the August 28, 2012 episode of the USA television network series Covert Affairs episode "Loving the Alien".
- The station was briefly mentioned in the April 9, 2017 airing of the NCIS: Los Angeles episode entitled "From Havana with Love"
- С Кубы в Россию вывозят персонал и оборудование базы "Лурдес" [Russian personnel and equipment are taken from "Lourdes" base in Cuba], NEWSru, 2002-08-30.
- "Putin denies Russia plans to reopen spy base in Cuba". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
- "Russia Is Reportedly Reopening Its Spy Base In Cuba". Business Insider. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
- "Putin denies reopening of US-targeting listening post in Cuba". RT. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
- "Loving the Alien - Season 3 | Episode Guide | Covert Affairs". USA Network. Retrieved 2014-07-18.