Russian warships to tour Cuba

Posted on December 15, 2008

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After conducting naval exercises with Venezuela, visiting Nicaragua,  and sailing through the Panama Canal, the Russian navy will now tour Cuba. This continued and sustained naval presence, buttressed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s tour of four Latin American nations, can only mean Russia is serious about increasing its power and influence in the American backyard.

The door is wide open for other nations to fill the void. A two-day summit in Brazil, the Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development, for the first time excludes the United States and welcomes former pariah Cuba back into the fold. Cuban President recently visited Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to strengthen relations between the two nations. Nations who are at odds with America seem to be drawing together, which ought to be of concern.

The Defense Department has scoffed at Russian naval capability, and it may well be true that their maritime might is not to be overtly feared. But these exercises, as well as the recent Russian arms sales to Venezuela, show that Russia, along with other nations, is committed to flexing its muscle and perhaps muscling out American influence in the region. Since the coarsening of relations with Moscow, this should serve as a wake-up call that Latin America is in danger of falling into an opposing orbit against the United States.

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