CUBA: Another Cold War?

Russia Seems Ready & Eager!!
{Updated: Wednesday, November 8th, 2017}
      Adult Americans and citizens of the world may be able to connect the building above with the huge circular listening device still depicted ominously off to the right to this day! The building now is a a focal point of a Cuban university; the listening devise is still there but just as a reminder of the incredibly dangerous Cold War that existed beginning in 1962 between the nuclear-Superpower United States and the nuclear-Superpower Soviet Union. What history calls the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 pitted the world's two nuclear powers in a standoff that remains the closest the world has ever come to a nuclear holocaust. The whole world trembled for eight October days in 1962 till the Kennedy-Khrushchev pull-back resulted in the Soviet Union removing nuclear missiles from Cuba aimed at the U. S. and, secretly, the U. S. removing nuclear missiles from Turkey that had been aimed at the Soviet Union. In that year, 1962, the Soviet Union had built the Lourdes spy base in Cuba and that remained for decades till 2002, after the Soviet Union collapsed economically. But the reconstituted Russia remains to this day the one nuclear power that could likely strike America as hard as America could strike Russia. So, study the Associated Press photo above. Taking full advantage of the Trump administration's acute antagonism directed at Cuba, Russia may ask Cuba to allow it to reopen the base.
       The former Russian Spy Base is located on the edge of Havana in Artemisa province. Russia wants to reopen it because it says, since the base was closed in 2002, the U. S. has surrounded Russian territory with more-and-more military operations. Russia also notes that Cuba adamantly wants the U. S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay on the island's southeastern tip to be closed with the plush acreage returned to Cuba for the first time since 1903, shortly after the U. S. gained dominance over Cuba after the 1898 Spanish-American War. But Russia insists it will return militarily to Cuba only with Cuba's permission, and it reminds Cuba that the Trump administration is determined to overthrow the Cuban Revolution, which overthrew the U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship in 1959 and, in doing so, shocked the world, including the dictators in Moscow. Meanwhile, the world and Russia today remain shocked that Revolutionary Cuba has survived since 1959 despite daily efforts by remnants of the ousted Batista-Mafia dictatorship, still backed by the U. S., to regain control of the Caribbean's biggest island. From 1959 till 1991 Cuba was the catalyst in the middle of the U.S.-Soviet Union Cold War. It has largely remained that way from 1991 till today even though the U. S. has maintained a huge economic edge over Russia. But Russia is the very last military power the U. S. wants to tangle with.
        An ultra-powerful Russian, Frants Klintsevich is the deputy head of the Russian senate's Defense and Security Committee. He has the attentive ear of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian media quotes Klintsevich as saying, "We need to ramp up a new Cuban presence. Our base on Cuba, naval and aviation, should exist, must exist, for our security now. It's a key issue. The USA has military all around us."
         Strongly supporting the views of Frants Klintsevich is General Viktor Bondarev. He is the Chairman of the Russian senate's Defense and Security Committee.
      A re-activation of the Lourdes Spy Base in Cuba would keep Russia attuned to American military and even diplomatic maneuvers in the Caribbean and southeastern United States, including submarine operations in the waters surrounding Cuba. A reopening of Lourdes, many fear, would also be a precursor to a more substantial Russian military presence just off the southeastern U. S. coast. While Russia in 2017 can't compete economically with the U. S., the Russian nuclear capability is the last thing the U. S. would want to provoke. Based on the mutually destructive power Russia has, the current high-profile nuclear threat posed by North Korea is many light-years removed from a potential threat that Russia currently possesses. While acknowledging the power that Cuban-American Counter Revolutionaries have regarding America's Cuban policies, especially now that Trump has replaced the diplomatic Obama in the White House, it is sincerely hoped that the sanity of those not wanting a U.S.-Russian Cold War turning into a Trump-Putin Hot War will prevail.
      Thankfully in November-2017 the prime decision-makers in Cuba still seek Obama-like normal relations with the United States and thus, as things now stand, Cuba is not about to allow Russia to re-create a powerful military operation on Cuban soil. The two key spokes-people for Cuba are Bruno Rodriguez and Josefina Vidal but they are also Cuba's two main decision-makers on omnipotent U. S. relations, including Cuba's posture regarding such things as the Trump administration's efforts to reverse former President Obama's detente with Cuba and, more specifically, the U.S.'s ongoing claims of mysterious sonic-attacks against Americans in Cuba. Yet, Rodriguez and Vidal are respected enough that they can go to the UN in New York or to U. S. strongholds in Washington and convince almost everyone that the U. S. Cuban policy is outrageous and such anti-Cuban claims as the alleged acoustic attacks are false. In the photo above, that's Rodriguez in the middle and Vidal on the right holding court very successfully at the United States Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Washington last week. They came at the Chamber's invitation.
     At the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, Bruno Rodriguez and Josefina Vidal addressed a roomful of top U. S. corporate executives who are very interested in trade relations with Cuba. Indications last week were that no one at the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and none of the above U. S. CEOs believed U. S. claims that Cuba is targeting Americans in Havana or doing anything else to discourage tourism to the island or commerce with America. The majority of Americans, especially CEOs, are eager to do business with Cuba. But intimidation and propaganda, since 1959, has trumped...uh, no pun intended...democracy when it comes to America's relations with Cuba.
       Last week for the 26th consecutive year the 193 nations at the United Nations, including all of America's best friends around the world, voted overwhelmingly against the U. S. embargo-blockade of Cuba, with only the Trump administration and its most dependent nation, Israel, supporting the embargo-blockade. Additionally, all polls show that most Americans and most Cuban-Americans oppose the embargo-blockade that was imposed in 1962 for the then-stated purpose of starving, depriving, and creating misery on the island to induce Cubans to rise up and overthrow their revolutionary government. Revolutionary Cuba has remarkably maintained its sovereignty for all these decades despite what is considered the longest and cruelest economic embargo ever imposed by a strong nation against a much weaker one.
      But with the Republican Trump in the White House, U.S.-Cuba Relations once again are being dictated by a mere handful of revengeful Cuban-American/Miami-based miscreants in the United States Congress, led currently by Senator Marco Rubio. It is clear that such self-serving benefactors as Rubio don't care that their anti-Cuban belligerence is opposed even by most Cuban-Americans in Miami, a city that doesn't appear democratic enough to elect a moderate Cuban-American to the United States Congress. Similarly, it can be presumed that Rubio and his ilk could care less about how much their policies hurt Cuban-Americans in Miami, Cubans on the island, or the overall national security of the United States. And that's precisely why the two powerful aforementioned Russians...Frants Klintsevich and Viktor Bondarev...are trying to convince President Putin to try to convince Cuba to allow a Russian base on Cuban soil, a development that might well rekindle a Cold War or kindle a hot war between the world's two nuclear Superpowers -- the United States and Russia. As long as the likes of Marco Rubio can dictate America's Cuban policy, the most militant Russians will believe they can persuade Putin to install a military presence in Cuba on the premise that its massive nuclear arsenal can blunt massive U. S. objections.
     For the last tumultuous decade, the brilliant and level-headed Josefina Vidal has been the most important overall player in the often volatile U.S.-Cuban relations. That last decade has seen the transition of power in Cuba go from the ill Fidel Castro to his brother Raul and it saw the death of the incomparable Fidel Castro at age 90 on November 25th, 2016. Cuba also embraced the American presidency of Barack Obama who wanted to normalize relations with Cuba and, at least prior to the election of President Trump a year ago, pretty much succeeded. Also, Vidal still stands tall in Cuba as the retirement of Raul Castro nears in February of 2018. The new President will be 57-year-old Miguel Diaz-Canel but Raul has laid the groundwork for more of a tribunal-type leadership with Vidal and Bruno Rodriguez joining Diaz-Canel as equal or near-equal leaders. And all three -- Vidal, Rodriguez, and Diaz-Canel -- are well-liked and respected by most Cubans on the island, including the restless young-adults.
     As indicated by the photo above, Raul Castro has groomed Miguel Diaz-Canel as the next President of Cuba and that will become a reality very soon in February of 2018. Miguel is a non-revolutionary and a non-Castro and he is far less convinced than Raul, Vidal and Rodriguez that Cuba needs close relations with the United States. Miguel, prepping for his soon-to-be Presidency, has traveled widely to countries he believes are more important and much friendlier to Cuba than the U. S., especially China and Russia but also Vietnam. But Raul cooperated closely with the Obama administration in almost normalizing relations with the United States other than in areas mandated strictly by the U. S. Congress. Now in his dwindling days as President, Raul is not dismissing Miguel's belief that the collective friendship of China, Russia and Vietnam will be more vital to Cuba than continuing to seek normal relations with America when, in a two-party system, the U. S. policy regarding Cuba is often dictated by Republicans like Trump and not Democrats like Obama. And that's why Cuba's first non-Castro leader since 1959, Miguel Diaz-Canel, will share leadership with more pro-American stalwarts, namely Vidal and Rodriguez, with Raul, even though he is now 86, remaining in charge of his first love, the Cuban military.
      As the photo above indicates, Bruno Rodriguez and Josefina Vidal have cultivated close relations with Americans and Cubans other than Counter Revolutionaries.
 The last two photos, for example, show Bruno Rodriguez and Josefina Vidal warmly welcoming Nancy Pelosi, America's top Democrat in the U. S. Congress, to Cuba.
      From Fidel to Raul to Miguel in Cuba and to most non-Republican and non-Cuban American extremists in the United States, Josefina Vidal has been considered the most important Cuban when it comes to Cuba's most important relationship, the one with the nearby Superpower, the United States. A brilliant diplomat, she negotiated with the Obama presidency a near-normal relationship with America, at least as normal as it could get considering the Batistiano control of the U. S. Congress seems permanent. But just in the last year, Fidel has died and Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States. And now Raul Castro is about to be succeeded as President by a non-revolutionary and non-Castro, Miguel Diaz-Canel. Miguel's first inclinations will lean toward tightening relations with China, Russia, and Vietnam as well as with European and African nations. Miguel's views will be tempered by Vidal and Rodriguez who believe Cuba should always hold out hope of having normal relations with the United States. If indeed Diaz-Canel/Vidal/Rodriguez form the non-Castro/non-revolutionary tribunal that rules Cuba beginning in February, the Vidal Doctrine, which says that Cuba should always be willing to normalize relations with the United States, will be well represented even during the bellicose Trump era.
       But all that is not to suggest that Josefina Vidal will advocate at all costs normal relations with the United States. On the contrary, the Vidal Doctrine is defined by her irrevocable and non-negotiable quotation depicted above. She maintains that Cuba will never renounce and will fight to the death to preserve the revolutionary principles that has made it a sovereign nation since January of 1959. She says, "That is the resolve in which, for all these decades, we have resisted such things as the Bay of Pigs military attack in 1961 and the U. S. economic blockade since 1962. And if necessary, that do-or-die attitude...that love of sovereignty...will prevail on this precious island now and for always." But, for sure, neither Vidal's earnest desire for normal U. S. relations nor her do-or-die resolve espoused above does not exclude leaning on a Russia or a China if she believes having normal relations with the U. S. is hopeless.
       And that brings us back around to powerful Russian militants -- such as General Viktor Bondarev -- who reportedly are trying to convince Vladimir Putin to install a Russian military presence on the island of Cuba at America's backdoor. Such Russian militants are obviously hoping that powerful Cuban moderates like Josefina Vidal are finally giving up all hope of normalizing relations with the United States, thus leaving Cuba receptive to such a U. S. provocation. General Bondarev obviously believes that Russia's nuclear might is enough to deter the U. S. from going to war over a Russian military operation in Cuba. Meanwhile, as evidenced by President Trump's current Asian trip, North Korea's nuclear threat will likely continue to suck up oxygen that, more appropriately, Russia's much more substantial arsenal might be deserving.
      Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have already met this year -- at the above G-20 summit in Germany -- and they are about to meet again, this time in Communist Vietnam on Trump's current Asian trip. That's because Trump while in Vietnam wants to solicit Putin's help in blunting North Korea's dire nuclear threat.
      The two men in charge of the world's two strongest nuclear arsenals, Putin and Trump, are supposedly close friends...even as the U. S. media and federal investigators are obsessed with determining whether Trump or his defeated presidential rival Hillary Clinton were the most deeply involved with Putin's Russia prior to and during the U. S. presidential race. Meanwhile, in Vietnam this week Trump will ask Putin for help in keeping North Korea in check. But the wonder is, even as an aside, if Trump will ask Putin, "Vladimir, what's this I hear about your top Generals insisting you install a military presence in Cuba? Uh, that's our backdoor, you know. Haven't you heard about the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis? Well today, you and I have nuclear weapons that would make those 1962 missiles resemble cap pistols. So tell me...are your Generals just drinking too much vodka? That's it, isn't it, Vladimir?"
Meanwhile in a more peaceful world:
A friendly Zebra and Havana's Mariana.



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