#AceWorldNews – MOSCOW – July 17 – Russian President Vladimir Putin has refuted reports that Russia and Cuba agreed to resume work at the Soviet-built intelligence facility in Lourdes near Havana, Cuba.“No, it’s not true,” Putin answered a question during his meeting with reporters following the BRICS summit in Brazil.RT
“There is nothing to regret, we are capable of solving the challenges in the field of national defence without this component, there is nothing unusual here, we in agreement with our friends closed the work of this centre, we have no plans to resume work,” said Putin.
Reports of resumption of work at the USSR‘s largest electronic intelligence facility was published in Kommersant newspaper on Wednesday.
(VoA July 16 2014 ) Reported that Russia will reopen an intelligence base in Cuba that closed in 2001, according to Russian media reports on Wednesday.
The newspaper Kommersant claims an agreement to resume operations at the Lourdes base, which was once a leading source of Cold War-era electronic surveillance on the United States, was made during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Havana last week.
The signals intelligence base located south of Havana opened in 1964 to spy on the U.S. during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Only 250 kilometers from the U.S. coast, it had radar capable of intercepting signals from a significant amount of U.S. territory, according to Kommersant.
In 2001, Putin ordered the base closed in a cost-cutting move, after repeated requests from the United States, the Russian paper said, citing sources close to the Kremlin.
The paper also quoted Raul Castro as saying that up to 75 percent of Moscow’s intelligence on the United States came from the base.
#AceWorldNews – COLUMBIA – May 16 – Colombia’s leftist FARC and ELN rebels on Friday declared a unilateral cease-fire from May 20 to May 28, Reuters said.
The period includes the May-25 presidential election, and the guerrillas and the government continued work toward a comprehensive peace plan in negotiations in Havana.
“We are ordering all of our units to cease any offensive military action against the armed forces or the economic infrastructure as of 0000 hours on Tuesday, May 20, until 2400 hours on Wednesday, May 28,” rebel leader, Pablo Catabumbo, said in Havana.
#AceWorldNews – HAVANA – May 07 – Four Miami-based Cuban nationals have been detained in Cuba.
Having planned to carry out attacks on Cuba’s military facilities.
Cuban newspaper Granma reported on Wednesday that the suspects were detained on April 26 by the forces of the Interior Ministry.
Jose Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodriguez Gonzalez, Raibel Pacheco Santos and Felix Monzon Alvarez were detained in the midst of their preparations for terrorist activity on the national territory of Cuba, the newspaper said.
The suspects admitted that they “planned to attack military facilities to provoke violence.”
Granma reported that three out of four suspects have visited Cuba several times from mid-2013 to plan the execution of planned terrorist attacks.
The suspects said the plan of the attack were developed by three others in Miami who have close ties with infamous terrorist Posada Carriles.
Granma (ENG) – Pertinent contact with appropriate United States authorities was made, in order to investigate these events and prevent, in a timely fashion, the actions of such individuals and terrorist organizations based in that country, which endanger the lives and security of persons in both nations.
#AceWorldNews – HAVANA – April 13 – French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has arrived in Havana for a brief visit aimed at strengthening ties with Cuba. “This is the first time in 31 years that the head of French diplomacy is on an official trip to Cuba,” Fabius told reporters.
“France wants to strengthen its ties with all of South America and, in this context, we wanted relations to be strengthened in particular with Cuba.” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez pledged his “willingness to continue to work on common goals” with France, AFP reports.
“Today we note a favourable development — and great potential – in our bilateral relations.”
#AceWorldNews says that six luxury humidors fetched more than $1.1 million Saturday at the gala closing the 16th annual Cigar Festival in Havana.
The humidors were packed with Montecristo and other prestigious cigars along with a painting by Cuban artist Zaida del Rio.
As in past years, the $1,102,210 in proceeds went to Cuba’s public health services, said Habanos SA, the exclusive distributor of Cuban cigars in 150 countries.
The festival, which featured tours of tobacco plantations and cigar factories, culminated with a gala dinner and auction that began Friday and lasted into the early morning hours Saturday.
British singer Tom Jones performed at the event, held on the PABEXPO fairgrounds on the outskirts of Havana.
Habanos SA is a joint venture between Cuban state company Cubatabaco and the Franco-Spanish Altadis that was bought in 2008 by the British Imperial Tobacco Group.
As the festival opened on Monday, Habanos SA reported that Cuban cigar sales were up eight percent in 2013, reaching $447 million, with strongest market gains in China.
Tobacco is one of Cuba’s top exports, behind nickel and biotech products.