December 15th, 2008
The Associated Press reports that Russia and the U.S. are meeting today to discuss our country’s plans to install missile defense shields in Poland and the Czech Republic. Russia perceives these planned bases as a threat, while we maintain that the shields are necessary to defend against attacks from rogue states like Iran and North Korea. Russia has threatened to install missiles near the Polish border should the U.S. build bases in Central Europe.
While Russia plays the innocent in the missile defense scenario, the defiant country said it would send warships to Cuba later this week. (AFP)
Along with Cuba, the Russian navy has visited other Latin American countries like Venezuela and Nicaragua. Russian ships have not passed through the Panama Canal since WWII. The move around U.S. waters obviously is an attempt to resurrect the Cold War between the two nations.
The U.S. reportedly sees “no military threat from Russia’s naval manoeuvres,” but caution is warranted. Russia’s actions are openly antagonistic from our vantage point. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has already met with former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner, and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. We suspect these meetings are not merely friendly chats.
There is one bright spot in Russia’s attempts to re-launch the Cold War. AFP reports that Russia’s navy “remains severely weakened following years of post-Soviet neglect.”
September 11th, 2008
According to RIA Novosti, Russia will not reopen a radar base in Cuba. “This matter is not under consideration,” Sergei Lavrov said at a news conference.
The 28-square-mile Lourdes facility, located near Havana, is the largest Russian signal intelligence site abroad. Former President Vladimir Putin closed it in 2001. At one point, 1,000 to 1,500 people occupied the facility.
Cuba was a player in the Cold War between the U.S. and Russia. Just 90 miles from our shores, Cuba is a hotbed of political wrangling between the world’s superpowers. Any Russian facility that close to the U.S. is a major concern, naturally. RIA Novosti reports that the Lourdes facility “intercepted transmissions from microwave towers in the United States, communication satellite downlinks, and a wide range of shortwave and high-frequency radio transmissions.”
Speaking of Cuban bases, a Russian newspaper reported in July that a high-placed source said the Kremlin may retaliate against the U.S. if it deployed missile interceptors in Poland or Lithuania. The retaliation would consist of Russia installing Tupolev Tu-160 White Swan supersonic nuclear bombers in Cuba. Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro didn’t confirm or deny the report. (Source)
(Source: RIA Novosti)
July 29th, 2008
In a story that broke on Monday, a Russian newspaper reported that a high-placed source in the Russian government said the Kremin may retaliate against the United States if it deployed Ground-based Mid-course Interceptors in Poland or Lithuania. The retaliation? Russia may base its Tupolev Tu-160 White Swan supersonic nuclear bombers in Cuba.
Former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro didn’t confirm or deny the report.
The U.S. has plans for missile defense sites in eastern Europe, and it should come as no surprise that Russia might see such a move as a threat. A “well informed military-diplomatic official” told CBS News it’s possible that Russia could use an airfield in Cuba for refueling strategic bombers.
According to Gonzalo R. Gallegos, U.S. State Department Acting Deputy spokesman, the U.S. has not gotten confirmation from the Russian government about the rumored deployment. General Norton Schwartz, a nominee for U.S. Air Force chief of staff, said the move would cross “a red line for the United States of America.”
The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, which involved the U.S., the former Soviet Union, and Cuba, is more than a footnote in history. Our country learned that missile bases were being built in Cuba. After a tense two weeks, the countries reached an agreement to remove the missiles. At the time, President John F. Kennedy said that it was the policy of the nation to view a nuclear missile launched from Cuba as an attack on the nation.
Source: CBS News