WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 1962 (UPI) -- The United States cast anxious eyes today on Russia's latest Cuban aid maneuver -- construction of a "fishing port" that is expected to become a Red naval base. No matter what Premier Fidel Castro chooses to call the new anchorage the Russians are building for him, officials here expected it to be a significant base for extending Communist operations in several ways.
It could impose new complications on the announced United States policy of increased surveillance of Cuba and containment of Castroism.
Castro announced the joint venture over Radio Havana yesterday, saying the Soviet Union would build the port "to facilitate fishery operations of the Soviet fleet in the Atlantic area." Radio Moscow said the port would have room for 130 vessels.
The Soviet fishing fleet is known to include trawlers that bristle with radio and radar antennae for eavesdropping on such key U. S. installations as the Army, Navy and Air Force complexes in the Norfolk, Va., area.
A Cuban base for maintenance and overhaul could facilitate those operations as much as it could help the fishing enterprises of the Soviet Union.
Castro's announcement came less than a week after the Soviet military newspaper Red Star proclaimed that rocket-armed submarines were ready to put to sea "if the frantic aggressor should force us to do it."
Red Star said there was nowhere in the world's oceans Russian subs could not go unseen by the enemy.
One place they might go, and not mind being seen, would be the new "fishing port" in Cuba.
Radio Havana today said that the $12,000,000 base, under a ten-year grant, would be built inside fortified Havana Bay and would include a radio station and scientific equipment. It was not explained why the fishing port of Batabano 30 miles away could not be developed for Russia's use.
If the Russian's follow precedent, a next step might well be for them to furnish submarines to the Cubans. They supplied them to Red China, the United Arab Republic and Albania. The Russians already have given Cuba patrol boats able to carry short-range missiles.