Putin announced the re-opening of an old base in Cuba, where the rotten Communist regime keeps chugging along, its people still immiserated.
Of course, Putin is an old KGB guy, who learned a lot of tricks on how to keep power in the waning days of the Soviet empire. More recently, he’s been aggressively carving-up old satellites when it suits Moscow’s interests, as in Georgia and Ukraine, playing off of Russian ethno-nationalist sentiment and the fear and pride of lost empire as much as he can.
Here’s Putin, back in the 80′s, meeting Reagan. Ho hum, just a tourist, snapping some photos and meeting, how do you say, your premier.
From The Atlantic Photo: Vladimir Putin-Action Man
‘Russia needs a strong state power and must have it. But I am not calling for totalitarianism.’
No, there may not be a brilliant long-game at work, and yes, there’s always a ‘seed of aggression’ when you’re dealing with Moscow, especially Putin. I’d say many Americans (too many in the media) are choosing to see the world through current rose-colored glasses of vague, one-world liberalization and democracy for all (Guantanamo, for all its faults, is probably a more pressing issue for the current administration when it comes to Cuba, which says a lot).
A harsher, more realist turn could serve us well right now. We need strategy: to be fluid and clever, while building alliances and recognizing interests and promoting them to contain these kinds of shenanigans.
‘After Putin visited Cuba on Friday, the Kremlin press service said the president had forgiven 90% of Cuba’s unpaid Soviet-era debts, which totalled $32bn (£18.6bn) – a concession that now appears to be tied to the agreement to reopen the base’
Maybe we could bring-in Rocky for some consultation, you know, just to have him around:
Some related links on this site:
Michael Moynihan reviewed Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’ which praised the Cuban Health Care System.
Vladimir just wants to be friends, America: Remember that appeal in NY Times?
***Bonus-Putin and Bush’s love affair in a GAZ M-21 Volga caught on tape. Putin sends Medvedev out to keep the flame alive with Obama on missile defense.
Are we headed toward 19th century geo-politics? I get a sorely needed refresher on the Cold War: Obama’s Decision On Missile Defense And A Quote From Robert Kagan’s: ‘The Return Of History And The End Of Dreams’