14ymedio, Havana, 7 October 2016 — Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov, announced that his country is considering returning to military bases in Cuba and Vietnam and is reconsidering, therefore, their pending decommissioning.
“If necessary, we should reopen these bases, both in Cuba and in Vietnam, if they do not want to use diplomatic language with us, we will fight the threat to peace,” said the parliamentarian from the president’s party, Fair Russia. The politician specified, according to Russian news agencies, that he was referring primarily to “a neo-fascist organization called the Islamic State and all its sponsors.”
The base in Lourdes, near Havana, was operated by Moscow between 1967 and 2001, and was the largest Soviet radio-electronic espionage center outside its national territory, according to experts, from which the USSR was able to observe the entire Western Hemisphere.
In July 2014, the Moscow press was already speculating about the reopening of the Lourdes base, based on news sources from the Kremlin but denied by President Vladimir Putin himself.
Months later, in October, the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Sergey Shoigu, announced that Russia will actively develop its military bases abroad, particularly in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia and raised the idea of creating a network in Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Seychelles and Singapore.