The Russians are back at home in Cuba for the long term. Foreign Minister Lavrov visited on 10 February. Promises of financial aid amounting to a million Euros are in the air. Not much perhaps, but symbolic of a return to the good old days. The deep water port of Cienfuegos (plumbing 600 metres) is closed to outsiders other than Russian atomic submarines that can come and go as though they please. The Commander of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, is on the island for a six day visit. The entire military infrastructure of Cuba is being spring cleaned by the Russians, including notoriously bald atomic submariners, who can at least now return sporting unnatural tans in the dead of winter. Evidently Venezuela is not a practicable option for a sovereign base area given Maduro’s continued failure to put the country back on a firm economic and political footing.
To say the least the Cuban play is unnecessarily provocative in an American election year at a time when Russia has few if any friends in Washington D.C. It will obviously further constrain President Trump from even speculating on coming to terms with President Putin, himself under attack at home for gerrymandering the constitution to his personal advantage.
The French, as usual, are alone in their Russophilia. Back to old habits of acting out of line with their allies, giving the British a hard time over future trade relations with the E.U., and showing their usual truculence towards the senior NATO partner. But then President Macron has failed with everything else. And the Russians seem unnaturally pleased when anyone is willing to engage with them.
На Кубе может быть создана база атомных субмарин ВМФ РФ
Активность российского флота в Карибском море все больше беспокоит Пентагон