Cuban expert discusses the presence of Russian ships in Cuba

Photo: Ismael Batista Ramírez

An interview with the Director of the Center for Investigations of International Politics (CIPI) José Ramón Cabañas, to the Spanish press outlet El Periódico on June 14, 2024

“ Is this (the October Crisis) a valid referent  for what is currently occurring ?”

Relating this news with what occurred in October 1962 is as inadequate as supposing that each time a U.S. naval detachment moves through Southeast Asia, alarms should be sounded in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Today, the USSR does not exist, nor does the so-called socialist bloc, and NATO has failed to keep all the promises made after the disappearance of both, promises not to expand eastward, creating enormous strategic risks.

The installation of defensive missile systems in Cuba during that period occurred immediately after a military invasion of Cuba organized by the U.S.  The Cuban government was always in favor of making this action public, the Soviet authorities opposed this, and the rest is well-known history. Today, Cuba and the U.S. have formal diplomatic relations and, therefore, various channels to deal with this and with other even more sensitive affairs.  We are speaking of three naval vessels (a submarine, a tanker, and a tugboat) that have come to a Cuban port in a region in which the U.S. has 80 military bases and many other means of domination.  Cuba has divulged the information in sovereign form, with adequate advance notice.

In recent years, we have received naval detachments from Canada, France, Spain, the UK, Japan, Holland, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Jamaica, China, and Russia on friendly and cooperative visits.  The majority of these have not been worthy of international press attention. In fact, the arrival in Cuba on June 14 of a ship of the Royal Canadian Navy, the HMCS Margaret Brooke, has already been announced. Until now, the Canadians haven’t been worth the headlines.

On June 5 2023, Cuba denounced the presence of a U.S. nuclear submarine on the outlying areas of the Naval Base located in the illegally occupied territory of Guantanamo, Cuba.  Few media outlets in countries allied with the United States considered our concerns worthy of being a news item.

Therefore, we need to place each fact in its context and evaluate it in an objective way.

“How much should we be worried about the current situation?”

If this question is in reference to the particular fact of the naval visit, we repeat what we have already said, in the sense that it has no repercussions beyond bilateral friendly Cuban-Russian relations.

Now, if this refers to the current situation in a more general context, there is a lot we should worry about.  The genocide against Palestine has not stopped, and the international community is not capable of articulating a coherent response that can halt this massacre.

NATO insists on seeking a military solution in Ukraine, with the only goal of satisfying the great arms producers.  The countries that have the greatest reserves of strategic (or desirable) minerals are those that are least developed, and they are victims of constant destabilization plans.

Humanity as a whole has not learned the basic lessons from the experiences of the struggle against COVID-19 and has not prepared for the next similar events, at the same time that biological weapons labs financed by military institutions proliferate in the world.

A fourth industrial revolution is taking place that will create even more disparity between the more developed countries and those that have been spurred on repeatedly to guarantee the well-being of the colonizers.

There are many reasons to worry and to see the concept of peace as a goal to be reached rather than as an already shared achievement.

“What are the potential consequences, what are the current real impacts and the threats to keep in mind , though they have not yet materialized?”

The theme that is worrying you has no other repercussions beyond the end of the visit to Cuba.  If perhaps it remains in history, it will be another opportunity to attract attention to Cuban themes with a negative slant and, in passing, to stir up anti-Russian feelings.

José Ramón Cabañas, Photo: Bill Hackwell

Curiously enough, the press is very active in dealing with certain themes, but they seldom look back at what they have already said and fail to reflect on whether they have stuck to the truth or not.  Just in the last few years, there has been unlimited speculation about supposed attacks on the health of foreign diplomats located in Havana and about a supposed Cuban military presence in Venezuela.  Time and again, they have spoken of alleged Chinese spy stations in Cuba, and now there is a “worry”  about the visit of three naval vessels.

But they do not give information about the inexplicable retaining of Cuba on the list of countries that supposedly patronize terrorism, made up by the U.S. State Department, and the impacts that this has for our economy.

They do not say that Cuba is one of the countries that has made the most contributions to peace, not just in Colombia but in the whole continent.  It isn’t reported that Cuba is the only country that has organized two summits of the Nonaligned Countries Movement (1979 and 2023) and two summits the South, or G77 plus China (2000 and 2023), all of which imply enormous support by the international community.

Source: Minrex, unofficial translation by Leni Villagomez Reeves / Resumen Latinoamericano in English

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