HAVANA, Oct. 7th ‘Let them talk!’ Rumors of Russia mulling a military base in CUBA shot down by PM Medvedev Setting up a Russian military base in Cuba was not discussed between…
Raul Castro and Moscow, PM Dmitry Medvedev has said. There are also no plans for Russian warships to escort oil tankers to the island nation amid a US crackdown.
When asked by Rossiya 1 channel about speculations that he and Castro discussed establishing a permanent military foothold in the Caribbean, just 180 km from the US shores, Medvedev was brief.
“We discussed cooperation, remembered our past, how we met for the first time,” the prime minister said.
He mentioned that Castro called the US sanctions against Cuba an “incomprehensible childish solution.” The military presence was not brought up, though.
While the Soviets never established a permanent base on Cuba, a so-called training brigade was stationed on the island in wake of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The unit, consisting of Soviet military specialists, was a heavily-guarded secret until 1979 but played a more or less symbolic role. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the contingent of 1,500 was withdrawn.
Some Cubans have never stopped hoping for the renewal of military aid from Moscow, and this includes the idea of Russian warships escorting the oil tankers to dodge US sanctions on Cuba and its chief oil supplier, Venezuela. But Medvedev has rejected this idea.
We’ll find other ways for Cuba to get oil
As for the economy, Medvedev pointed out that the turnover between Russia and Cuba has significantly increased, just as the Russian investments. Russian companies will be upgrading almost 1,000 km of Cuban rail tracks in accordance with the new deal.