During an official visit to Havana, Deputy Chairman of the Government D O Rogozin, who supervises the Russian defence-industrial complex, said that Moscow always knew that the economic blockade of Cuba was doomed, telling Russian reporters after more than 90 minutes of talks with Cuban President Raúl Castro Ruz, “This means Cuba won’t abandon its fundamental position in exchange for promises, which so far are just part of an oral dialogue initiated by Washington”. Rogozin pointed up that Washington initiated normalisation of the bilateral relations between the USA and Cuba… this means that Havana, which struggled against the American embargo for 54 years, has prevailed. Upon his arrival in Cuba, Rogozin noted that from now on in, Washington will try to give Havana a “suffocating hug”. On Friday, President Castro’s daughter, Mariela Castro, told the AP, “If the USA thinks these changes would bring Cuba back to capitalism and return it to being a servile country to hegemonic interests of the most powerful financial groups in the USA, they must be dreaming”.
Answering a question about possible military cooperation between Russia and Cuba, Rogozin said that Moscow has no intention to place military bases in Cuba. He observed that modern military hardware enables Russia to “see and hear” from a far greater distance than before, so there’s no need to move military infrastructure “close to countries that might react very painfully to this. We don’t need to take extravagant steps”. Rogozin said that Russia always been maintained Cuba’s “necessary wants”, but they focused the latest talks on civilian projects, saying, “If Cuba’s economic condition improves and we agree in the near future to open new credit lines to finance infrastructure, energy, and transport objects, Cuba would have new financial capacity that would, amongst other things, allow it to modernise its military hardware”.
The Cuban government is closely following the present standoff between Russia and the West, which includes global economic sanctions against Moscow. TASS quoted Rogozin, “Our Cuban friends are also interested in our position regarding the pressure on Russia from the West. For the Cubans, it’s extremely important to see that Russia isn’t giving in to external pressure and that it isn’t changing its principal positions, such as on national independence and sovereignty, particularly, in connection with the recent reunification with the Crimea”.
Rogozin called the talks with Castro “a very deep sincere discussion” and noted that the decision of the Russian government to send a delegation to Cuba now “demonstrated progress right on time” and resulted in signing “long-outstanding agreements”. The Cuban government invited Russian companies to invest in oil and ore mining, energy projects, tourism, and telecommunications.
20 December 2014
Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz is one sharp cookie. He used Obama’s opening to pressure the Russians into making favourable concessions to him. Do note WHO went to Havana… D O Rogozin… perhaps, the most hardline anti-American hawk in the government. This shows that VVP has no intention of rolling over and playing dead for the Americans. It also shows that the Castro government doesn’t intend to abandon socialism.
However, BHO did NOT do this for foreign policy reasons… he’s always had a domestic focus, and such is true here. What this does is to throw a curve at the clueless GOP. When you add the immigration initiative and the new action by the NLRB against Mickey Dee’s into the mixture, you can see that BHO, NOT the Republicans, has the “weather gauge”… that is, the wind is behind him and he’s dealing the cards. The Republicans are reacting… not acting.
Do NOT mistake this as an American admission of defeat on the foreign affairs stage… however, it IS a domestic political gambit that’s already thrown the Republicans for a loop. BHO’s calculation is that a large gain in domestic political tread would more than compensate for the loss of face entailed by this decision in international venues. We have two more weeks until the next session of Congress convenes… that’s plenty of time for BHO to set more traps for unwary and heedless righties. There be fresh n’ juicy cowpats in that there field… and the Republicans have blindfolded themselves as they tiptoe through the tulips… fancy that…