A New Cold War in the Caribbean?
The significance of the Izvestia bluster isn’t that the Russians could be coming again — Moscow’s Defense Minister later said any air force arrangement in Cuba would most likely involve stops for fuel rather than actual bases — but that they’ve returned to the idea of using the Caribbean to try to leverage Washington. The latest gestures may be designed as a warning to Washington that if it goes ahead with stationing a missile shield on Russia’s borders, Moscow could reciprocate in America’s backyard.
What, If Anything, Are Russia, Venezuela, and Cuba Up To?
There have been a few news articles recently concerning the possible use of Cuban and Venezuelan territory for the construction of Russian military bases. The New York Times noted:
East confronts west in Latin America
China and Russia are challenging the US for dominance in Latin America by pursuing trade and military deals
During a visit to Beijing in November, Correa said China could turn the Manta base into a transit port from which to exploit the riches of the Amazon. China, which is engaged in a headlong rush for timber, minerals and other resources around the world, is said to be looking favourably on the idea.