Voices from Russia

Saturday, 24 September 2016

24 September 2016. A Thought from Bob Marley

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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Shoigu’s Strategic Latin American Voyage: Russia Stands Behind Its Friends

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General Shoigu with President Ortega in Nicaragua

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00.0b Chavez. Venezuela. 08.10.12

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00 Chavez and Kirill. Blessing. 08.10.12

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04 Raul Castro with Patriarch Kirill

President Castro with Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias

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Cuban Navy cadets in the Russian church in Havana during the last Easter season

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Defence Minister S K Shoigu just ended a tour of Latin America, which in less than one week took him to three countries… Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba. Everywhere he enjoyed special military honours and welcomes at the highest state level. In Caracas, President Nicolás Maduro Moros received him, in Managua, President José Daniel Ortega Saavedra greeted him, and in Havana, the head of state Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz feted him. He received Venezuela’s Order of National Security Merit and Nicaragua’s Grand Cross. Shoigu’s meetings with the three Latin American national leaders didn’t look like pure protocol events at all. Discussions were friendly, fundamental, and specific and encompassed a range of aspects of world politics. In part, they discussed the events in the Ukraine. Maduro, Ortega, and Castro fully supported Russia’s stance regarding the situation there. In addition, they touched upon Caribbean problems, in particular, bilateral relations in the political and in the military and military-technical spheres.

Russia was and still is the largest provider of weapons and military hardware for the countries Shoigu visited. To Venezuela alone, Moscow provided at least 11 billion USD (682.5 billion Roubles. 68.8 billion Renminbi. 683.6 billion INR. 13.76 billion CAD. 14.14 billion AUD. 9.68 billion Euros. 7.13 billion UK Pounds) worth of armaments over the past few years. Alongside India, China, and Algeria, it’s one of the best customers of Russian aircraft, tanks, APCs, artillery, and air defence systems. The equipment parks of the Nicaraguan and Cuban forces are entirely Russian. True, their equipment isn’t as new as Caracas’s is. Local industries managed to somehow upgrade much of that equipment, but all of their weapons need urgent replacement, or supplies of spare parts and components, or fundamental upgrade, which might prove the most sensible solution of all. The Minoborony delegation included the chief of the military-technical coöperation service, Aleksandr Fomin, whose staff, along with specialists from Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport, apparently have relevant plans and arrangements.

Last year, Nicaragua created with Russian assistance a centre named after Soviet Marshal G K Zhukov for training army specialists. Near Managua, Moscow helped build an industrial facility for disposing of expired ammunition, which is already operational. During the just-ended visit, Shoigu attended a “ribbon-cutting” at a new topographical centre where Russian specialists provided and assembled the equipment. He proposed to Nicaraguan President Ortega that Nicaragua send teenagers to train at Russian army and naval cadet schools. Some Nicaraguans are already at Russian officer schools and academies, so, why not start instruction from a younger age? In that case, trainees would first learn Russian, then, receive elementary military education, to eventually enable them to take courses at higher military institutions, to fit them to become fully qualified commanders for the Nicaraguan forces. Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said that he made such proposals not only in Managua, but also in Caracas and Havana.

Shoigu’s overseas voyage had a pretty clear strategic message… Russia’s geopolitical rival must remember that Moscow has its own interests in a part of the world that the Americans recently considered as their backyard, and it possesses the ability to demonstrate and protect these interests. Naturally, the USA is unlikely to be very happy about that, but Moscow, and possibly, Havana, Managua, and Caracas have long stopped paying much attention to comments that may follow from the US State Department.

18 February 2015

Viktor Litovkin

ITAR-TASS

http://tass.ru/en/opinions/778405

Editor:

The Church says, “Socialism is good! The Cuban Healthcare system rocks!” So does the Russian state. The REAL Church has nothing to do with Moonies, Mormons, Pentecostalists, or Teabaggers (those who do are at variance with HH, who believes crapitalism to be a fraud)… the pictures tell a story. ¡El socialismo es bueno!

A waggish friend of mine at the Centre wrote me, “I know why General Shoigu went to Managua! In Moscow, it’s -25 (-13 Fahrenheit)! In Managua, it’s +25 (77 Fahrenheit)!”

BMD

Cuba Demands Closure of Gitmo or No Total Normalisation of Relations

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On Wednesday, Cuban Ambassador to Russia Emilio Losada García said that Washington should close US Naval Station Guantánamo Bay to restore relations with Havana, noting, “No American base should operate in Cuba under the socialist government”. He said that an American withdrawal from the base was a condition for total normalisation of bilateral relations.

18 February 2015

ITAR-TASS

http://tass.ru/en/world/778400

Editor:

This happened soon after the visit of Defence Minister S K Shoigu. Now, it’s clear that Cuba received a security guarantee from Russia. If the USA wants an Embassy in Havana, it has to close Gitmo. This puts Obama on the hot seat. If he closes Gitmo… he’s in the shitter big-time with the GOP (more so than he is now, unbelievably)… if he keeps it open, it knackers his much-ballyhooed opening to Cuba, and makes him look a fool. In short, he can’t win, no way, no how. Methinks that this is a diplomatic pawn… that is, if the USA plays ball with Russia in the Ukraine, Russia MIGHT talk Cuba into softening its demand. Vova’s not a black belt for nothing, kids…

BMD

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Shoigu Hails Russo-Cuban Military Relations… Gives De Facto Guarantee to Havana Against American Aggression

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Shoigu in Nicaragua 

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On Saturday, Defence Minister S K Shoigu said during a meeting with Cuban President Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz, “Our relations in the military sphere are developing constructively. We’re interested in expanding coöperation in the naval sphere”. Shoigu thanked Cuba for its reception of VMF RF ships during a port call in Havana. He also invited Cuban delegations to take part in this year’s tank biathlon international competitions, international war games, the 4th International Security Conference, and the international scientific and technical forum Army 2015. President Castro replied that Cuban delegations would take part in these events.

Shoigu said that Russian and Cuban approaches on global and regional security issues “fully coincide”, saying, “Our countries are bound by common interest in forming a just and polycentric world order based on equality, adherence to international law and respect for it, with a central role for the UN”. Shoigu said that his visit to Cuba came when the two countries are strengthening their bilateral ties, noting, “Your country is our long-time friend and a symbol of love of freedom and independence in Latin America. Cuba, which survived a blockade for over half a century, continues to firmly and consistently follow the track of defending its national sovereignty and implementing its development model”.

Shoigu observed that the traditionally good relations between Russia and Cuba are reviving, as seen in the visit of President V V Putin to Havana in July 2014, which gave an impetus to strengthening bilateral ties, saying, “Our priority is to implement agreements reached during high-level meetings”. He went on to point up that the long traditions of friendship between the people of Russia and Cuba are a “firm basis for expanding bilateral coöperation and coordinating efforts on the international arena”. This concludes Shoigu’s trip to South America, during which he also visited Venezuela and Nicaragua.

15 February 2015

ITAR-TASS

http://tass.ru/en/russia/777626

Editor:

The USA could’ve reached out to Cuba in the 1990s… but the GOP chose to kiss the asses of Cuban-American fanatics in Miami. Now, Russia is back on the upswing again… the moment’s lost irretrievably. The USA will pay dearly for pandering to these émigré blockheads.

BMD

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