Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The Gathering Storm in the Caribbean--How should the US respond to a growing Russo-Cuban alliance?
Frontpagemagazine ^ | 11-13-08 | Kathy Shaidle

Posted on 11/13/2008 5:46:03 AM PST by SJackson

The Gathering Storm in the Caribbean  
By Kathy Shaidle | Thursday, November 13, 2008

Like Russian military invasions and a one-party government in Moscow, the Russo-Cuban alliance is one of those Cold War relics currently making a comeback. In sign of a reinvigorated alliance between the two former allies, the Kremlin announced on Tuesday that Cuban President Raul Castro will visit Russia in 2009. Castro’s Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, called the visit “another contribution to the development of ties” between Cuba and Russia. Those ties, he said, “are developing in a very dynamic way.”

“Dynamic” is a fitting word for it. Although Russia’s alliance with its former client state waxed and waned during the Cold War, Russia and Cuba recently have forged renewed ties through economic deals and military agreements. These partnerships include a proposed satellite launch facility in Cuba; Russia’s extension of state credit; a rumored refueling base for nuclear capable bombers; and accords covering the automobile, nickel and oil industries. In addition, Russia was the first country to send emergency aid to Cuba in the wake of Hurricane Gustav earlier this year. It’s as if the Cold War had never ended.

At the same time, things are indeed different. The new Russo-Cuban relationship has little to do with the mutual regard or ideological agreement that prevailed in the past. It is instead a reflection both nations' shared antagonism toward the United States. Cuba has been under a U.S. economic embargo since Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution turned the island nation from an ally to an enemy in 1962.

Russia’s resentments are of more recent vintage. The new U.S.-Polish missile defense system agreement, for example, is viewed by the Kremlin as a threat, notwithstanding U.S. assurances that the system is defensive in nature. Russia also is displeased by the Bush administration’s condemnation of its invasion of Georgia earlier this year. That invasion also was deplored by most of Europe. In Cuba, by contrast, Russia has found a rare ally.

But solidarity has a price. So far, most of the expenditures have been borne by Russia, money that the country can ill-afford to spend. Finance minister Alexei Kudrin told parliament on November 12 that Russia may dip into its “rainy day fund” to supplement next year’s budget, with more economic “support measures” to be announced later in the week. On this evidence, Russia’s patronage of Cuba hardly looks sustainable.

In addition, some of the joint projects are experiencing problems. According to the Russian online daily Kommersant, Cuban negotiations with Russian oil giant LUKOIL to modernize two of its oil refineries “never proceeded beyond the very initial stages. A source close to the intergovernmental commission explained that Cuba received more profitable propositions from companies in other countries, mainly the U.S.”

So, why invest so much in the tiny Caribbean island? The answer is that Cuba lies less than 100 miles off the Florida coast. As military analysts at Stratfor put it, “Cuba is the perfect location to remind Washington that it, too, has a sensitive periphery. If the Kremlin ever feels that the United States is pushing too hard on Russia’s core periphery, such as in Georgia or Ukraine, Moscow can ratchet up pressure in the Caribbean through military, overt and covert means.”

Ray Walser, a Senior Policy Analyst for Latin America at the Heritage Foundation, told FrontPage that renewed ties between Russia and Cuba will force Washington to spend “time, political capital and resources” that would be “better spent on trade, prosperity and security against crime and drugs.” Walser points out that Raul Castro’s “return to the Russian fold” is particularly troubling, given that Fidel’s brother was Cuba’s “Soviet point man for decades.”

Russia may not be the only country revisiting its relationship with Cuba. Russian journalist Alexander Gabuev has speculated that president-elect Barack Obama could be seen as “a threat to Russia’s position on the Latin American market.” For instance, Raul Castro hailed the U.S. election results, perhaps suspecting that Obama’s controversial campaign promise to meet world leaders “without preconditions” could very well include him. If Obama goes further – if, for instance, Obama suspends the American trade embargo against Cuba and there is an economic accord between Cuba and the United States – then the Russians could face something they’ve never experienced in the region: competition.

However, Heritage’s Walser counsels against this approach. He points out that a decision to lift the longstanding economic embargo absent political reform in Cuba could be interpreted as American weakness. Instead of legitimizing the Cuban regime, he believes, the US must press for a “democratic transition in Cuba.” For all the shifting ties between the two countries, the dictatorial rule of the Cuban government is a reminded that some things have not changed at all since the Cold War.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: bayofpigs; castro; chavez; coldwar; coldwar2; cuba; kgb; nuclearproliferation; putin; russia; russianthreat; sovietunion; venezuela; wmd; wmds
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-32 last
To: Bringbackthedraft

Well with Bambi, I would assume that the US would welcome it. If anything, allow the 7 sisters to do business with Cuba regarding oil exploration since that’s how far offshore we will be able to drill once the moratorium is put back in place.

21 posted on 11/13/2008 6:17:02 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz ("Control the information, you control the people.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: SoFloFreeper
Because, as my pastor and mentor says, "God **** America." Yes, we can.

His 'Black Liberation' pastor.

"Their founding document [the Weather Underground's] called for the establishment of a "white fighting force" to be allied with the "Black Liberation Movement" and other "anti-colonial" movements[1] to achieve "the destruction of US imperialism and the achievement of a classless world: world communism."..."-Berger, Dan (2006). Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity. AK Press, 95.

Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity (Paperback) by Dan Berger

From the New York Times, August 24, 2003

"they [the Weather Underground] employed revolutionary jargon, advocated armed struggle and black liberation and began bombing buildings, taking responsibility for at least 20 attacks. Estimates of their number ranged at times from several dozen to several hundred."

Article: Quieter Lives for 60's Militants, but Intensity of Beliefs Hasn't Faded

From David Horowitz's
"FBI files from 1976, recently made public under the Freedom of Information Act, confirm the connections between Weatherman, Havana, and Moscow. Weatherman leaders like Mark Rudd traveled illegally to Havana in 1968 to engage in terrorist training. There, camps set up by Soviet KGB Colonel Vadim Kotchergine were educating Westerners both in Marxist philosophy and urban warfare."

22 posted on 11/13/2008 6:18:44 AM PST by ETL (Smoking gun evidence on ALL the ObamaRat-commie connections at my newly revised FR Home/About page)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
How should the US respond to a growing Russo-Cuban alliance?

By electing a "One-World Socialist namby pamby President" of course. /sarc

23 posted on 11/13/2008 6:28:13 AM PST by Don Corleone (Leave the gun..take the cannoli)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJackson

Ditch your president-elect, for one.

24 posted on 11/13/2008 6:47:06 AM PST by beagleone
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJackson

Obama will JOIN them.

25 posted on 11/13/2008 6:51:22 AM PST by Ben Reyes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Camelo? The Muslim version of Camelot?

The image of Camelot applied to the Kennedy administration goes back to that movie about King Arthur in the early 1960s, but it may have been after the assassination that someone first applied the label Camelot to the Kennedy White House.

26 posted on 11/13/2008 6:56:33 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: SJackson

So what ... who cares.

27 posted on 11/13/2008 7:23:32 AM PST by CapnJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
Now the circle is complete Castro a young Lawyer was all about Change and look at the wonders he created in Cuba.

And Osama is about the same Change also,I am looking for a place to cut my truck so a Donkey can pull it.

28 posted on 11/13/2008 8:29:45 AM PST by Cheetahcat (Osamabama the Wright kind of Racist!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJackson
Barry X will lift the embargo and normalize diplomatic relations with communist Cuba. Cuba will set open an embassy in the US to promote socialism here. Barry will close the military base at Gitmo and turn it over to Castro. Russia will install missiles in Cuba and Barry will make sure the US has no defense against them.
29 posted on 11/13/2008 12:42:34 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lizol; Lukasz; strategofr; GSlob; spanalot; Thunder90; Tailgunner Joe; propertius; REactor; ...
Russia/Soviet/Coldwar2 PING!!!

Img src="">

To be added to or removed from this list, please FReepmail me...

30 posted on 11/13/2008 11:17:21 PM PST by Thunder90
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Excellent research!

The neo-Soviet Russians and the die-hard communist Cuban dictatorship spells heightened problems, unless the in coming leftist Obama elitists totally sell out Cubanos for a free Cuba, for the Moscow's supported communists traitors in Havana.

31 posted on 11/14/2008 12:40:44 AM PST by M. Espinola (Freedom is not 'free'.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Thunder90

Thank you for pinging me.

32 posted on 11/22/2008 8:33:35 PM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( SURVIVAL, RECIPES, GARDENS, & INFO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-32 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson