Cuban state visit to Russia demonstrates importance of Havana for Putin’s anti-American agenda

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel traveled to Russia this week below the auspices of an respectable state talk over with, the place he’s going to attend the revealing of a statue of Fidel Castro on the Sokol metro station in northwestern Moscow.

In spite of Cuba’s resolution previous this 12 months to abstain from U.N. votes condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Ukrainian territory, Cuba and Russia stay shut geopolitical, financial and army allies, united by means of a shared anti-American imaginative and prescient.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has lavished loads of 1000’s of barrels of oil at the island country, and Cuba in go back has put in Russian intelligence on the notorious Lourdes SIGINT (indicators intelligence) station close to Havana, the place it actively screens U.S. communications.


Deputy head of Russia’s Safety Council, Dmitry Medvedev, proper, shakes fingers with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel throughout their assembly on the Gorki state place of abode outdoor Moscow on Nov. 21, 2022. (Yekaterina Shtukina/Sputnik/AFP by the use of Getty Pictures)

In spite of Cuba’s dismal financial outlook, Russia seems glad to increase repeated monetary lifelines to the Caribbean Island in change for a strengthened geopolitical and army presence a trifling 150 miles from U.S. shores. At a time when Russia is imperiled as by no means prior to within the post-Chilly Battle technology, its dedication of crucial assets demonstrates the price it puts on Cuba, which many students imagine to be the command middle within the “lengthy recreation” Russia is looking for to play because it battles for hearts and minds within the Latin American area.

Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., informed Fox Information Virtual that “The Cuban regime has struggled to stick related after their monetary enablers within the Soviet Union stopped sending them cash within the Nineteen Nineties,” but with renewed ties they obtain “army apparatus and intelligence from Russia…the Cuban regime advantages as a result of it could possibly additional maintain itself with Russian blood cash. Communism best works with different peoples’ cash.”

Russian-born intelligence professional Rebekah Koffler, a former Protection Intelligence Company officer, believes that Russian army deployment to the island is a chance.

“Russia is most definitely taking into account deployment of army belongings and body of workers into Cuba to turn Washington that it could possibly mess in its yard, too — all a part of the plan to place power at the Biden management to desert make stronger of Ukraine. Clearly, Putin would wish Diaz-Canel’s consent for that.”

Sixty years after 1962’s harrowing Cuban Missile Disaster, the specter of some other disagreement looms huge.

“Putin is perhaps hoping to get permission to deploy nuclear-capable belongings at the island as Moscow fears NATO’s intervention within the Russia-Ukraine struggle. That is supposed as a deterrent however would most probably be perceived by means of Washington as escalatory,” Koffler mentioned.

Diaz-Canel’s talk over with demonstrates that Cuba stays firmly within the Russian geopolitical orbit, with ties between the 2 international locations arguably nearer than at any time for the reason that finish of the Chilly Battle.

The late Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Havana, Cuba, during a visit by the Russian president in 2014. (AP Photo/Alex Castro)

The overdue Cuban chief, Fidel Castro, meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Havana, Cuba, throughout a talk over with by means of the Russian president in 2014. (AP Picture/Alex Castro)


As Koffler notes, “On Jan. 24, one month previous to the so known as ‘particular operation’ (the Russian invasion of Ukraine), the Cuban and Russian presidents had a ‘pleasant and productive telephone name’ throughout which they mentioned their ‘strategic partnership’ … lower than every week previous to the invasion, Russia’s Deputy Top Minister Yury Borisov visited Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, key Russian allies in Latin The usa, to protected make stronger.”

In spite of the shut dating, Cuba and different Latin American allies like Venezuela and Bolivia shocked the arena once they abstained from a U.N. vote to sentence the Russia invasion of Ukraine previous this 12 months and a next vote on Oct. 12 relating to Russian annexation of Ukrainian territory.

Koffler believes that this resolution is tied to Cuba maximizing its financial status with its ancient benefactor.

“Cuba didn’t brazenly vote in make stronger of Russia, most definitely as it needs some negotiating leverage over Moscow. Havana most probably hopes that Moscow will forgive a few of its loans and get preferential phrases for industry. In 2014, Moscow wrote off $32 billion of Cuba’s remarkable debt. Havana most definitely hopes for extra debt forgiveness by means of Moscow.”

Russia and China, whilst sharing a hearty pastime within the area, take hugely other approaches to Latin The usa. Whilst China has in large part confined its pursuits to making sure a go back on its financial investments, Russia, in a go back to a Chilly Battle-mentality, has made really extensive political investments in making sure the stableness and longevity of its authoritarian allies, in addition to bolstering anti-American actions and sentiments.


Honor guards attend celebrations marking Revolution Day in Guantanamo, Cuba.

Honor guards attend celebrations marking Revolution Day in Guantanamo, Cuba.
(AP Picture/Ramon Espinosa)

The renewed use of the Lourdes SIGINT facility, wherein it actively screens U.S. communications, is a key part of Russia’s long-game technique within the area, which basically is composed of antagonizing the US.

But, given Cuba’s historical past of competitive army interventions all over the world, army involvement at the a part of Cuba in Ukraine isn’t past the area of chance. Remaining week, fashionable state tv host Vladimir Solovyov known as for the formation of world brigades to return to Russia’s help.

“I don’t perceive why American citizens, even supposing they’re combating in Grenada, all the time improvise a world coalition. … Why can we deny ourselves that excitement? There are gadgets in Syria rather well educated by means of us, there are other folks in Africa who make stronger us, there may be Venezuela, there may be Nicaragua, Cuba, Iran and North Korea.”


Bringing up the instance of overseas volunteerism throughout the Spanish Civil Battle, he added, “If volunteers from all over the place the arena pass and battle in Donetsk, why shouldn’t we give them the chance to arrange and create a world frame?”

But, Koffler deems this chance as far off.

“I don’t see this as most probably, however we can’t totally rule it out, no less than, on a coercive foundation relatively than voluntarily,” she mentioned. “Solovyov is without doubt one of the Kremlin’s most sensible propagandists and maximum of his rhetoric is meant to frighten the West and to provoke ultra-nationalist sentiments inside Russia. Whilst we will be able to’t totally push aside what he says, we all the time wish to take his rants with a grain of salt.”

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