Russia Denies Reopening Cuban Spy Base as Ukrainian Conflict Escalates

Originally published on July 20, 2014, at

Responding to recent allegations, Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly denied any intentions to reopen their signals intelligence (SIGINT) post in Cuba. While attending a BRICS summit in Brasilia on Thursday, Putin claimed, “Russia is capable of fulfilling the defense capacity tasks without this component.”

The Soviet-era spy facility in Lourdes, Cuba, began operation in 1967 after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban missile crisis. Located 155 miles from the US coast, the covert base intercepted classified radio signals from ships, submarines, and American spacecraft. At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union required up to 3,000 personnel to staff the building.

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International Protests Against Venezuelan Censorship and Violence

Originally published on February 24, 2014, at

Last weekend, thousands of demonstrators across multiple continents protested against the state-sponsored violence in Venezuela. Attending the protest in front of the Federal Building in West Los Angeles, I tried not to recall how much blood had been spilled here in recent years.

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