Putin Looks to Cuba / Miriam Celaya
Posted on March 15, 2014
HAVANA, Cuba.-The crucial dispute in which the geopolitical, economic,
and military interests of major world powers are played is the most
relevant one in escalating individual conflicts that have been taking
place in other regions–the Syrian and Venezuelan crises are two
examples–perhaps of lesser effects globally, but where hegemonic
interests also have some influence. Thus, in numerous media, alarms have
gone off heralding the Cold War, an old ghost which many believed had
The term “Cold War ” was coined during the late 1940s to define tensions
of multiple natures (economic, political and ideological, military,
scientific, technological, etc.), that characterized the relations
between the communist bloc, under the aegis of the dominant USSR, and
the capitalist, led by the U.S., after the end of World War II.
The ongoing power struggle between the two axes to achieve global
hegemony constituted a permanent threat to world stability and peace,
branding many of the major events of the second half of the twentieth
century up to the time of the elimination of the Berlin Wall (1989) and
the disappearance of the Soviet Union (1991).
The US bloc and its allies had won the game; however, tensions between
East and West have never really been overcome. Currently, competing
interests go beyond the ideological aspect that defined that almost
50-year span, but the global threat of conflicts between the powers
Meanwhile, those countries under the influence of the super powers
continue as test sites in the show of force of world power centers, and
also as blackmail scenarios of the worst of dangers, just as the 1962
Russian nuclear threat against the U.S. from the Cuban mainland. No
wonder, then, that the mere mention of the Cold War can be a source of
apprehension to many Cubans, especially now, when there are surges of
the unmistakable signs of intentions of using our region, and in
particular, our country, as platform for Russian imperialist expansion
in this hemisphere, in full defiance of the U.S.
Good and Evil Empires?
At first glance, it might seem that the Russian intervention in the
Crimea, the Russian arms sales to Venezuela, and the presence of a
Russian spy ship in Havana, are unconnected events. However,
declarations by the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, about their
intentions to open military bases in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba (in
the latter case these would “reopen”), information which was not
published by the Cuban official media, show that Mr. Putin, seasoned in
intrigue and sordid affairs since his days in the KGB, is ready to step
up the tone, moving his historical adversary’s line of dispute in Latin
America which, despite everything, remains an American sphere of influence.
Meanwhile, “leftist” governments in this region are sounding the alarm
against “Yankee Imperialism”, but at the same time they meld alliances
with the Russian Empire, whose importance might not be wise to
underestimate, despite its post-Soviet era of decline, while others
remain indifferent to these events.
Thus, Russia, with its culture and history completely unrelated to ours,
and with a lack of traces in our national emotional memory, today has
the enthusiastic connivance of the same old Cuban conspirators and their
regional disciples, and the acquiescent silence of our Latin American
For Cubans, such a plot could not be taking place at a worse time, when
the military power cast holds the monopoly of the economy, and the
gerontocracy has been consolidating its international political
legitimacy–though not its prestige–thanks to the collusion of
governments that met in late January at that aberration called CELAC,
and of other international organizations that decided to give the Havana
regime a boost, thereby increasing the defenselessness of Cubans against
the power’s game for political gains.
For now, some Russian entrepreneurs have begun to invest in sectors of
economic interest on the Island, such as tourism, and reportedly also in
the Special Development Zone in Mariel, indicating that Cuba remains a
point of strategic interest for “the Northern Bear”, the only empire
that, at a time when it was Cuba’s “ally”, at the goriest time of the
Cold War, placed us in the epicenter of what had the potential to become
a global conflagration which, in a matter of minutes, could have wiped
us from the face of the earth.
It is terrifying to remember that there were Cubans back then, to whom
the government denied the existence of those dangerous Russian artifacts
on Cuban soil, who, immediately and massively, got up “in arms against
the US imperialist threat”. Such a sad paradox, the enemy was, and
continues to be, at home.
More than 50 years later, the scenario is different but some facts are
repeated, creating–due to lack of information–the most diverse
speculations. The same irresponsible government retakes up the affair
with its former allies, perhaps with the collateral intention of
indirectly pressuring for the repeal of the U.S. embargo, among other
possible plans. Concerns abound, because, if the first part of that
forced marriage was bad, we can bet that a second part could even be worse.
Translated by Norma Whiting
Cubanet, 12 March 2014, Miriam Celaya
Source: Putin Looks to Cuba / Miriam Celaya | Translating Cuba –