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Intelligence and Punta Huete Airfield: A Symbol of Past Soviet/Russian Strategic Interest in Central America

Intelligence and Punta Huete Airfield: A Symbol of Past Soviet/Russian Strategic Interest in Central America

By Robert Vickers

The status of the Punta Huete airfield and the possibility that Moscow might send jet fighters and other Soviet military aircraft there were key national security issues during the administration of President Ronald Reagan (1981–1989). The airfield was never completed during the Cold War and the MiGs were never delivered, however, and Punta Huete lay abandoned and unused after the Sandinistas lost control of Nicaragua’s government in February 1990 and after the Soviet Union collapsed the following year.

Nevertheless, the episode is an excellent example of the role that intelligence played in support of US strategic policy in Central America during a period of intense competition for global influence between Washington and Moscow. Since then, the Sandinistas have returned to power in Nicaragua, and Punta Huete has finally been completed with Russian financial assistance. Strange though it may seem, this raises the possibility that Punta Huete may once again become a high priority for US intelligence as Moscow renews its strategic interests in the Western Hemisphere.

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Posted: Jul 25, 2016 01:31 PM
Last Updated: Jul 25, 2016 01:31 PM