Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

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

00 shoigu and ortega 01. 18.02.15.jpg-large

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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00 Cuba. navy cadets in russian church. 28.07.14

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

Monday, 9 January 2012

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Seeks Support in Latin America

Shudder! Here come the Iranians! Let me ask you a question… who has killed more civilians throughout the world with its armed forces, the USA or Iran? The shoe pinches, doesn’t it?

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On Sunday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad started a four-nation Latin American tour with a visit to Venezuela as part of an effort to win support in the region. On Monday, Ahmadinejad, accompanied by several key ministers, expects to meet with Venezuelan President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías to discuss bilateral relations and prospective trade deals. He will travel to Nicaragua on 10 January to attend the inauguration of newly re-elected President José Daniel Ortega Saavedra and wrap up his five-day tour with visits to Cuba and Ecuador. Experts believe that improving ties with leftist regimes in Latin America becomes vitally important for Tehran as the global community gradually increases its pressure on Iran over the country’s controversial nuclear program.

Western powers and Israel suspect Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons. Iran denies this, saying its programme is civilian in nature. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters last week, “As the regime feels increasing pressure, it is desperate for friends and flailing around in interesting places to find new friends”. Tensions between Iran and the West escalated in the past few weeks, as Tehran threatened to stop oil supplies passing through the Strait of Hormuz should economic sanctions limit or prevent Iranian oil exports. On Sunday, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta warned Iran that any attempt to carry out its threat would draw an immediate US military response.

9 January 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/world/20120109/170677774.html

Editor’s Note:

The US State Department lies to you when it says that Iran’s isolated internationally. Rather, the USA and its allies, including Israel, demonise Iran. The USA hasn’t forgiven Iran for the Iran Hostage Crisis of a generation ago. Iran has never kissed the Americans’ arse for that, and Washington has had its nose out of joint about Iran ever since. Besides, Iran believes that it doesn’t have to listen to Western diktats, and that’s just impossible on their part!

Let’s be frank… Russia and China have given Iran implicit guarantees. If the USA or Israel were to attack Iran, it would be “penny-wise and pound-foolish”. That is, they MIGHT delay an Iranian bomb for a year or two, whilst the USA would muck up its relations with the Muslim “street” permanently, and such a strike would force Russia and China into an intimate alliance for at least the next generation. On top of that, it could cause enharmonic dissonance within NATO, creating a double bind that could weaken, if not destroy, it.

You’re not hearing this in the mainstream media because of the strength of the Israel Lobby. I’m no anti-Semite (indeed, I stand four-square against such), but anyone who doesn’t acknowledge that there’s such a thing as the Israel Lobby doesn’t have a brain. We’ve already paid dearly for its existence (there would have been no 9/11 had we ignored the Israel Lobby)… what more shall it take for us to throw it into the outer darkness? Standing against the Israel Lobby and advocating anti-Semitism are two different things. I’m for the former and I oppose the latter… any questions?

BMD  

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