A Russian spy ship in Cuba was spotted docked in Havana just as U.S. negotiations begin for resuming diplomatic relations with the government of Fidel Castro.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, when reports claimed that “Fidel Castro” died they technically were true, but unfortunately social media caused a lot confusion since these reports were all about a different Castro.
The Viktor Leonov CCB-175 is reportedly a Russian spy ship that is outfitted with “high-tech electronic” intelligence gathering equipment. This past April, the Russian warship was spotted along the U.S. east coast gathering information on the United States nuclear missile submarine base at Kings Bay, Georgia, and several other American military facilities. There have also been allegations of a Russian submarine spying near Sweden and Scotland, but all efforts to find the elusive submarine have thus so far failed.
In this case, the Russian spy ship docked in Havana is operating in plain sight.
“It may have a secret mission, but they’re certainly not trying to hide the ship’s presence,” CNN’s Patrick Oppman reported.
“It glided into Havana early this morning in full view of everyone to see.”
The Russian warship is moored to a pier where cruise ships often dock, although Cuban authorities did not announce the presence of Russia. The previous two visits in February and March of last year were similarly unannounced.
U.S. officials are already downplaying the presence of the Russian warship in Cuba, even though it happens to coincide with the historic U.S.-Cuba diplomatic talks. United States diplomat Roberta Jacobson for Latin America will lead the visit to Cuba, set for January 21 and 22. The presence of the Russian spy ship might raise an eyebrow or two, but it is also perfectly legal.
“It’s not unprecedented. It’s not unusual. It’s not alarming,” a defense official told AFP.
The presence of a Russian spy ship in Cuba may also become quite common over time. This past summer, Russia and Cuba agreed to reopen the signals intelligence base in Lourdes, Cuba, which had previously been shut down due to financial issues. According to Vyacheslav Trubnikov, a former head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, this spy base will be as important to Russia as it was for the Soviet Union.
“Lourdes gave the Soviet Union eyes in the whole of the western hemisphere,” Trubnikov said, according to Business Insider.
“For Russia, which is fighting for its lawful rights and place in the international community, it would be no less valuable than for the USSR.”
On Monday, Kremlin defense minister Sergei Shoigu also announced their desire to build Russian bases in Venezuela and Nicaragua, in addition to Cuba and other countries.