Russia’s top spy was among Raúl’s visitors

Miamiherald: Raúl Castro on Thursday met with visiting Gen. Nikolai Y. Makarov,chief of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, who was in Cuba for a five-day official visit. According to the daily Granma, the two men “broached different topics within the growing bilateral relations and made a brief overview of the international situation.”
Judging from Granma’s description, the room was full of military brass. On the Cuban side: Corps Gen. Alvaro López Miera, chief of the Cuban Armed Forces General Staff; Div. Gen. Leonardo Andollo Valdés, López Miera’s deputy; Brig. Gen. Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, the Armed Forces’ foreign relations chief. (Corps Gen. Julio Casas Regueiro, the Cuban Defense Minister, was also present, according to Radio Baraguá.)
On the Russian side: Lt. Gen. Alexander V. Shlyakhturov; Maj. Gen. Vyacheslav M. Proshkin; and Col. Vladimir A. Androsov, the Russian Embassy’s military attaché in Havana. Russian Ambassador Mikhail L. Kamynin was also present.
One visitor bears scrutiny. Last April, Shlyakhturov was appointed chief of the Main Directorate of Intelligence (GRU), Russia’s largest intelligence agency. Little is known about him, except that he was the GRU’s deputy chief in charge of strategic intelligence and that he’s 62, married, and has two children. The GRU (acronym for Glavnovo Razvyedvatyelnovo Upravlenya) is responsible for military intelligence and conducts radio intercept, radio technology and aerial reconnaisance. It provides a daily brief for the chief of General Staff. – Travel to Cuba


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