International News

Russia Is About To Start Spying on Us Again From Cuba

The Russians invade a neighboring nation and annex new territory. The outraged Americans respond with financial sanctions and chest thumping. Moscow tips the conflict toward a boiling point by upping its military presence in Cuba, just a few hundred miles from Florida's borders.

Nope, it's not 1962. All of the above happened this week, with the latest development coming just this morning. Vladimir Putin is reportedly reopening a Cold War-era spy post just outside Havana at the urging of the Castro Regime. Welcome back to the good old days!

The news comes after Putin paid a visit to the Casto brothers last week and reportedly worked out a deal to forgive about $32 billion in Cold War-era debt the Cubans still owed to Russia.

In exchange, Putin will get to reopen a military listening post in Lourdes, just outside of Havana, where 28 acres of military facility are packed with satellite links and radio antennas.

The post was once a key piece of the Soviets spying power aimed at the United States; the New York Times reports that in 1993, Fidel Castro boasted that 75 percent of all the military intel the Russians had on American forces came through the Lourdes spy base.

When the Russians scrapped the base in 2001 -- saying they wanted to focus on their war in Chechnya instead -- President George W. Bush praised the move as the end of an era.

''This decision is another indication that the cold war is over,'' he said at the time. ''President Putin understands that Russia and America are no longer adversaries.''

We may not exactly be "adversaries" again, but the Russians latest move certainly isn't warming Moscow-DC relations.

News of the renewed spy base comes the same morning that President Obama has announced a sweeping new round of sanctions against Russian companies because of Putin's ongoing role in the Ukrainian conflict.

Time is a flat circle. We have always been at war with Eastasia. Have a great Thursday, Miami.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink