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Russia and Cuba to strengthen ties again after years of break

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Russia and Cuba are strengthening ties again, after a break which followed the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union supplied Cuba with oil – up to 13 mn tons each year – and quantities of arms. In return, it received Cuban tobacco, coffee, fruit and sugar and enjoyed the right to build and operate military facilities on Cuban territory. After the Soviet collapse, however, these exchanges went downhill. The oil was cut off. In the early 90s, Russia shut its military training centre in Cuba. In 2002, it also closed its signals intelligence centre near the Cuban town of Lourdes, withdrawing all 1,000 of its personnel from the facility.

The millennium turn was the low point of the relationship. Under Vladimir Putin, however, Russian-Cuban ties started to pick up again. In 2000, Vladimir Putin visited Havana. In 2006, during a Havana visit by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, Cuba’s Soviet-era debts to Russia were finally settled, and Cuba also received a $335mn Russian credit line which allowed it to procure spare parts for some of the Soviet-made machinery and weaponry in its possession. In 2009, Cuban President Raul Castro visited Moscow. This Wednesday, he arrived again, amid summertime heat which he said reminded him of Havana.

After discussing matters with Prime Minister Medvedev, he proceeded to the suburban retreat of President Vladimir Putin.

This is what the Russian leader had to say:

“Some time ago, Russia and Cuba marked 110 years since they established diplomatic ties. These 110 years have seen ups and downs in relations, but at present, the relations are on the rise. Although pragmatic, they do not negate the positive legacy of the past. We are glad to welcome you. I do hope we will be able to review the entire spectrum of Russian-Cuban relations.”

The Russian President also used the occasion to extend his best wishes to veteran Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Mr Raul Castro said he was looking forward to a very productive Moscow visit:

“We live in a very complex and rapidly changing world. During my previous visit, we devoted time to the challenges faced by our countries in 2009. Today, we are discussing the current situation. I’m always happy to meet with my old friends in the Russia capital. I expect my working visit to be very busy and highly useful.”

After meeting with Mr Putin, Mr Raul Castro is to meet with head of Russia’s National Security Council Nikolai Patrushev.

The annual trade between Russia and Cuba has already topped $220mn and continues to grow. Importantly, it is not limited to arms sales. Russia’s Gazpromneft is drilling for oil and gas in the Cuban sector of the Gulf of Mexico. Other Russian companies are helping Cuba develop electricity generation.

Last year also saw a 30% increase in Russian tourist visits to Cuba. Russian holidaymaking on the island is rapidly catching up with European and Canadian ones.


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4 Responses to " Russia and Cuba to strengthen ties again after years of break "

  1. soorj says:

    In the present world the ties with Russia and Cuba is very essential. To prevent American imperialism all over the world, the existence of Russias relation with China, Cuba, Bricks countries are very much important.

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  2. Tom Cross says:

    Sounds like a Communist plot to me. I am sure that Comrade Obama is liking this completely! Maybe it is time to blow Cuba off the map!

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    • Rich says:

      are you fucking retarded, Your country is full of suicidal, heroine addicts, retards, and mentally ill presidents who are sick as fuck.
      Shut the fuck up tom, you know fuck all about whats happening,
      If cuba where to fall in the hands of america,
      then it would turn into a piece of shit just like it.
      Shut the fuck up

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  3. Jamudian says:

    This signals another diplomatic failure on the side of the Americans. This is a loss for them as they had the opportunity to ease tensions with Cuba and fix the old policies. They choose not to and now Russia is being proactive and moving in like they did before during the cold war.

    Nothing shy of arrogance is the reason for this failure on the U.S. side.
    They have no reason to still be holding sanctions against Cuba!!!Its been over 40 years!!!

    I hope Russia and China and otheer countries do what they can to help the Amazing Cuban people.

    Americans could have had really good relations with Cuba….But they Failed to act. Your Loss.

    I would think in the interest of national security They would have tried.

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