Lourdes SIGINT station
|Lourdes SIGINT station|
|Owner||Government of Cuba|
|Condition||Partially demolished/converted; scheduled for a reopening|
|Garrison|| Russian Intelligence (allegedly)|
Chinese Intelligence (allegedly)
The Lourdes SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) facility, located near Havana, Cuba, was the largest facility of its kind operated by Russian foreign intelligence services 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 closed in August 2002.
All station facilities were shut down, the buildings were abandoned and later reconstructed to become the University of Information Science.
At its peak during the Cold War over 1,500 KGB, GRU, Cuban DGI, and Eastern Bloc technicians, engineers and intelligence operatives staffed the facility. 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 closed in 2002. Russia had paid Cuba a $200 million annual subsidy from 1962 to 2002.
In July 2014 reports surfaced that Russia and Cuba had agreed to reopen the facility for usage by Russian intelligence. However, RT later removed their original story and replaced it with one denying the reports.
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"
"Lourdes [Cuba] Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) facility". GlobalSecurity.org. GlobalSecurity.org. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
The SIGINT facility at Lourdes [...] was jointly operated by Russian military intelligence (GRU), FAPSI, and Cuba's intelligence services. The Federal Agency for [Government Communications and Information] (FAPSI) evolved in the early 1990s from the former KGB's SIGINT service. According to Russian press sources, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service ( SVR) also had a communications center at the facility for its agent network in North and South America.
- С Кубы в Россию вывозят персонал и оборудование базы "Лурдес" [Personnel and equipment are taken from "Lourdes" base in Cuba to Russia], 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.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denied media reports that Russia was planning to reopen the Soviet-age SIGINT facility in Lourdes, Cuba [...].
- "Loving the Alien - Season 3 | Episode Guide | Covert Affairs". USA Network. Retrieved 2014-07-18.