Moscow Building Spy Site in Nicaragua

If you think a Russian presence in Nicaragua is new, you might be in store for a shock. The Soviet-Nicaraguan runs decades long, even before the Cold War.

The Russians actually have built and kept airfields there maintained. They’re large enough to support heavy strategic bombers. These are also decades old, but were built with future use in mind. They also wanted (and likely still want) to build a deep water port there. Nicaragua will be used as a staging ground for a Soviet invasion from an almost undefended Southern United States. This is a strategic spot not only for bombings from America’s south, but also a means to control the strategic sea gate(s) in Panama.

This is likely more than a spy station that they want now, as a spy station is unsettling, but less unsettling than announcing plans for a strategic attack launching area in the open. Either way, it just shows you that Nicaragua was communist and still remains communist, and that the decade old plans for both against the West never died.

Here are three sources on this, one of which is from a Ronald Reagan address to the nation:

Address to the Nation on the Situation in Nicaragua – March 16, 1986

Russia reality check: Red invasion from Nicaragua

Red Dawn Alert: Russia, Nicaragua to reactivate Punta Huete; Soviets built strategic bomber-capable runway in 1987, MiG-21s expected but never arrived


Signals intelligence facility part of deal for 50 Russian tanks

The Russian government is building an electronic intelligence-gathering facility in Nicaragua as part of Moscow’s efforts to increase military and intelligence activities in the Western Hemisphere.

The signals intelligence site is part of a recent deal between Moscow and Managua involving the sale of 50 T-72 Russian tanks, said defense officials familiar with reports of the arrangement.

The tank deal and spy base have raised concerns among some officials in the Pentagon and nations in the region about a military buildup under leftist Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega.

Disclosure of the Russia-Nicaraguan spy base comes as three U.S. officials were expelled from Nicaragua last week. The three Department of Homeland Security officials were picked up by Nicaraguan authorities, driven to the airport, and sent to the United States without any belongings.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said the expulsion took place June 14 and was “unwarranted and inconsistent with the positive and constructive agenda that we seek with the government of Nicaragua.”

“Such treatment has the potential to negatively impact U.S. and Nicaraguan bilateral relations, particularly trade,” he said.

The action is an indication that President Obama’s recent diplomatic overture to Cuba has not led to better U.S. ties to leftist governments in the region.

State Department officials had no immediate comment on the expulsion.

The action is an indication that President Obama’s recent diplomatic overture to Cuba has not led to better U.S. ties to leftist governments in the region.

Nicaragua’s Ortega has remained close to the communist Castro regime in Cuba and the leftist regime in Venezuela. He was once part of the communist Sandinista dictatorship, and after winning election as president in 2006 has shifted Nicaragua towards socialism.

No details of the intelligence site, such as its location and when it will be completed, could be learned.

However, the site could be disguised as a Russian GLONASS satellite navigation tracking station that is said to be nearing completion. GLONASS is the Russian version of the Global Positioning System network of satellites used for precision navigation and guidance.

The Nicaraguan and Russian governments in August signed an agreement to build the GLONASS station near Laguna de Najapa, north of the capital of Managua, according to Nicaraguan press reports. Other news reports said the site will be located on the Caribbean coast.

Pentagon spokesmen had no immediate comment on the Russian-Nicaraguan military and intelligence cooperation.

A State Department official said, “While any nation has the right to choose its international partners, we have been clear that now is not the time for business as usual with Russia.”

U.S. intelligence agencies reported internally several months ago that repression by the ruling Sandinista government has prompted the reformation of several armed groups in Northern Nicaragua who are opposing the Ortega government. The groups have engaged in small-scale firefights with government troops.

The armed opposition harkens back to the U.S.-supported Contra rebels that were armed during the Reagan administration to oppose the Sandinistas.

The anti-government groups are being revived after what human rights groups have said were several recent murders of former Contra fighters by suspected government agents.

Former Pentagon policymaker Mark Schneider said the deal appears to be part of a Russian strategy to expand weapons sales to create opportunities for military bases and to enhance influence in the region.

Russia in October 2013 flew two Tu-160 nuclear capable bombers to Nicaragua and conducted a naval task force visit to Venezuela. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Nicaragua in 2014 and set the stage for the increased military and intelligence cooperation.

“The Nicaraguan socialists seem to have pushed the country to the point of economic collapse,” Schneider said. “This has to impact what happens with Russia.”

Russia under the Soviet Union operated the largest intelligence facility of its kind in Lourdes, Cuba, until the base was closed in 2002. Reports surfaced two years ago that the facility would be reopened, but Moscow issued a denial that this was the case.

Lourdes once housed more than 1,500 KGB, GRU military, and Cuban intelligence personnel. The facility was said to be capable of intercepting all electronic communications throughout the southeastern United States.

“The acquisition of tanks is particularly perplexing to many in the region since Nicaragua has relatively good relations with its neighbors, has a growing tourist industry, and can boast in recent years as being the safest country for foreign tourists in all of Central America,” Dolan stated. “Additionally, the ruling Sandinista party (FSLN) does not face a serious a challenge in the pending November elections.”

Full article: Moscow Building Spy Site in Nicaragua (Washington Free Beacon)

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