Jan 15, 2022
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Cuba is far away Cuba is next! Caribbean crisis threatens to continue 2022

Cuba is far away  Cuba is next!  Caribbean crisis threatens to continue 2022

Photo: AP/TASS

From the platform of the NATO member countries, the United States is placing “red flags” on Russia from the side of Europe – strike weapons, missile defense systems, and is drawing up military contingents. The enemy at the gate is no longer a figurative expression, but a statement of fact. Can Russia similarly get within direct range of Washington overseas? Maybe! By placing their weapons in Cuba and Venezuela.

Such a possibility was not only voiced, but indicated by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Ryabkov. He did not comment on the possibility of Russian military bases in Venezuela and Cuba. “I don’t want to confirm anything, I won’t exclude anything here either,” Ryabkov said in an interview with the Russian TV channel RTV1. And in December last year, the diplomat suggested that relations with the United States could reach a situation similar to the Caribbean crisis of 1962.

Then the Soviet Union secretly transferred its nuclear ballistic and tactical missiles to Liberty Island, in the immediate vicinity of the US coast. This was Moscow’s response to the deployment of American Jupiter medium-range missiles in Turkey in 1962, in the destruction zone of which many Soviet cities could be.

The crisis was resolved by the dismantling of Soviet missiles, and the United States lifted the blockade of Cuba and abandoned the military invasion of the island, a few months later Jupiter missiles were also withdrawn from Turkey. Such a compromise caused discontent in some political military circles in both the USSR and the United States. Nevertheless, the global war that hung in the balance began just like that, and a direct telephone line was established between Moscow and Washington – the “red telephone”.

Talk that Russia intends to return to its former military base Lourdes in Cuba, and also Cam Ranh in Vietnam, has been going on for at least the last five years. Back in 2016, Deputy Minister of Defense, State Secretary General of the Army Nikolai Pankov voiced the idea of ​​Russia returning to this military base. The plans of the Ministry of Defense, however, were not deciphered, they say, we will send what we need to these strategic points. Especially since the places are inhabited. However, the creation of full-fledged military bases, as, for example, in the Syrian Khmeimim, did not come to that.

Nevertheless, in the United States, every time, with any suspicion about the return of Russian bases in Cuba, they raise a tantrum and begin to threaten Moscow with retaliatory military measures. And now the National Security Adviser to the President of the United States Jake Sullivan promised that “Washington will respond harshly to Moscow if Russia deploys troops in Latin America.” He stated this at a briefing at the White House after three meetings of Western countries with Russia in Europe, having heard the words of Sergei Ryabkov.

So it was in October 2019, when he visited Havana while still in the rank of prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, whom the Americans suspected of conspiring with the secretary of the central committee of the Communist Party of Cuba Raul Castro on the deployment of the Russian military contingent on the Island of Freedom. However, Medvedev himself dismissed this topic: “Let them talk.” Earlier, in November 2018, American fears about this arose after the visit to Moscow of the Cuban leader Miguel Diaz-Canel, whom the United States also suspected of secret negotiations.

Well, almost a uniform scandal happened immediately both at the Pentagon and at the US State Department, when in February 2020 the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolai Evmenov. As the official representative of the naval department then reported Igor Dygalo, Evmenov “will hold a series of meetings with the leadership of the defense department of the Republic of Cuba, and will also visit various facilities and units of the Naval Forces.” In general, as usual, the purpose of the trip was commented laconicly, without revealing any special secrets. Here it can be assumed that the Russian admiral had a difficult interest in Cuban “objects”, since he left the chair of the commander-in-chief of the Navy for six days and went to Cuba.

No one really hid that the visit of the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy was connected not only with the restoration of the Cuban Navy (it includes a small patrol ship, 6 missile boats, 2 base and 3 raid minesweepers, a hydrographic vessel and a training ship – still of Soviet production) , but also with the modernization of port facilities, which will be visited by ships and submarines of the Russian fleet to replenish supplies.

Here we can recall that nuclear submarines and warships of the USSR Navy periodically entered the Liberty Island in the deep-water bay of Cienfuegos back in the 1970s. And now, most likely, there is a need to update them for Russian nuclear submarines that are on combat duty in the Gulf of Mexico, and in other neighboring regions of the oceans.

We can talk about the creation in Cuba of a second foreign logistics center for the Russian Navy. The first one has been reliably serving us in the Syrian port of Tartus for many decades and is one of the most important pillars for strengthening Moscow’s military presence in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Middle East as a whole. And the desire of the Russian political and military leadership to settle in the Western Hemisphere in the same way is beyond doubt. Especially after Washington arbitrarily and unilaterally threw the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty into the wastebasket.

In addition to maritime interest in Cuba, Russia also has land plans. In Lourdes, Cuba, in the southern suburbs of Havana, the Soviet electronic intelligence center has been located since 1967. The main version of its purpose is listening to American communications satellites, telecommunications cables and NASA. This center gave coordinates for targets to Soviet missiles stationed in Cuba, which, if necessary, could hit the entire southern coast of the United States in a matter of minutes. The Lourdes base was “frozen” in 2002. For the sake of the USA. But its technical condition was maintained by Russian specialists all these years, although nothing was known about specific agreements regarding it between Russia and Cuba.

“Reviving the base in Lourdes is a matter of several months,” the military expert believes. Vladislav Shurygin, — The station is in working condition, but its functionality has already been partially lost. But there you can quickly install new equipment. We are not talking about missile systems, they are simply not needed there, as well as marine brigades that will swim across the Gulf of Mexico. This is an anachronism. But the special equipment that is now in service will make the United States absolutely defenseless against Russian weapons. It’s like a “bug” in the Oval Office of the White House, which allows you to know everything in advance.

“Cuba is far away, Cuba is near” – lines from a Soviet-era song were dedicated to the Island of Freedom. It was understood that distant Cuba (9,500 km in a straight line from Moscow) was almost the sixteenth republic of the USSR.

In addition to the fact that we received almost a third of Cuban cane sugar, which was sold “by weight” in almost every rural store, exotic Havana Club rum, which even Siberian men hung over, Cuban cigars, which were a little more expensive than shag and Prima cigarettes , Cuba was the same outpost of the Soviet Union off the coast of a completely unfriendly America, which made it possible to maintain the fragile balance of the world. During the “Caribbean crisis” it was the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba that prevented a global world crisis.

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