Through targeted threats, military activities and disinformation campaigns, Russia is strengthening the dictatorships of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela as a geopolitical foothold to achieve its expansion in the region, according to a report by Israel News platform, a media outlet. Israeli broadcasting news in Spanish.
“Russia is acting more aggressively in the hemisphere. The Kremlin and its historic Latin American partners are clearly stepping up actions to create greater social and economic destabilization,” Jorge Serrano, a member of the advisory team of the Peruvian Congressional Intelligence Commission, told Diálogo on August 15, 2022. “If someone wants to attack an enemy, weaken his allies. Governments close to the US are where Russia and this axis place the greatest emphasis on destabilizing them.”
The July 29 Israel News report noted that Moscow sustains a triangle of authoritarian regimes while dismantling democracies and promoting militarized authoritarianism. The support of the regimes in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to Russia during the invasion of Ukraine contributes to instability in the Western Hemisphere, he said.
Russian activities in Latin America include troop deployments. In August, Venezuela hosted an exercise, bringing together the armies of Russia, China and Iran, in a strategic move to position deployed military assets in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Center for a Free Society think tank said in a report. and Segura, of Washington, D.C.
“With the exercise […], Russia seeks to show its decision to have greater interference, including military, in Latin America”, declared Serrano. “Latin American countries are worried because they see a clear message that Moscow is supporting dictatorships,” he said.
In June, the regime of Daniel Ortega-Rosario Murillo of Nicaragua authorized the entry of Russian troops into its territory from July 1 to December 31, 2022, to participate in humanitarian aid, military exercises and the fight against drug trafficking, it said. the France 24 news agency.
Months earlier, in January, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov threatened that Russia could send military troops to Cuba and Venezuela if talks to avoid a war in Ukraine failed, Mexican daily El Universal reported. According to the Real Instituto Elcano, a think tank in Spain, Putin has been developing a set of subversive initiatives in open societies for years.
These initiatives include state sponsorship of terrorism, cyberattacks, interference in political and electoral processes through official propaganda tools such as RT or Sputnik, and much less obvious disinformation programs, among others.
As Nicaragua and Venezuela are desperate for money, credit and continued power, they are more dependent on Russia and Cuba for military assistance as they have stepped up repression, Israel News highlighted. Russia is one of the main suppliers of weapons to these authoritarian regimes, he indicated.
Moscow helped Nicaragua modernize its army, sending in combat tanks and air defense systems, and helped create a satellite monitoring station of the Glonass system. In return, Nicaragua supports the Kremlin in all its expansionist moves.
The Kremlin is handing over millions of dollars to the Venezuelan economy, bolstering Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and diluting the impact of US sanctions, according to Israel News. It also sells billions of dollars in military equipment to the authoritarian regime in Caracas.
In Venezuela, Moscow is also about to build a Kalashnikov rifle factory and has also opened a Russian helicopter training center, he added.
Former ties of friendship between Cuba and Russia were strengthened in early 2022 as tensions in Ukraine escalated, as both countries pledged to explore collaboration in the transport, energy, industry and banking sectors, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Cuban Foreign Affairs in February, Reuters reported. Russia and Cuba have a deep history of economic and military collaboration, dating back to the 1960s. In addition, independent Cuban media reports El Toque, Moscow, China and North Korea help Cuba modernize its military equipment.
“The United States must intensify its actions within Latin American countries, to prevent them from falling into a vicious circle and becoming allied countries on the Russia-China axis. […] They must not allow more dictatorships in Cuba, Venezuela or Nicaragua”, concluded Serrano.
Source: With Agencies