Russia docks spy ship in Havana, planning military bases in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua
Cuba's apartheid Castro regime -- the very same brutally repressive dictatorship "Cuba Experts" and Castro lobbyists in the U.S. breathlessly declare to be reformed and constantly insist is a friend of the U.S. -- just welcomed one of Russia's spy ships into Havana.
Russian spy ship docked in Havana
Havana (AFP) - A Russian warship was docked in Havana Wednesday, without explanation from Communist Cuba or its state media.
The Viktor Leonov CCB-175 boat, measuring 91.5 meters (300 feet) long and 14.5 meters wide, was docked at the port of Havana's cruise ship area, near the Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
The Vishnya, or Meridian-class intelligence ship, which has a crew of around 200, went into service in the Black Sea in 1988 before it was transferred seven years later to the northern fleet, Russian media sources said.
Neither Cuban authorities nor state media have mentioned the ship's visit, unlike on previous tours by Russian warships.
The former Soviet Union was Cuba's sponsor state through three decades of Cold War. After a period of some distancing under former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, the countries renewed their political, economic and military cooperation.
The ship is reportedly armed with 30mm guns and anti-aircraft missiles.
Its visit comes as isolated Havana's current economic and political patron, Venezuela, is facing unprecedented violent protests against President Nicolas Maduro's government.
Cuban President Raul Castro's Communist government is the Americas' only one-party regime.
Some may think it odd that Russia would be all the way on this side of the world when they are so busy dealing with all the turmoil currently taking place in their own backyard, but actually, it makes perfect sense. Russia is now planning on building military bases in Latin America's glorious bastions of Stalinist dictatorships: Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. Why not send a spy ship over to scope out some possible locations?
Russia with plans for military bases in Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela
Russia is planning to expand its permanent military presence outside its borders by placing military bases or seeking permission for navy ships to use ports in a number of foreign countries, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday. The list includes Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, Singapore and several other countries
Shoigu in remarks carried by Russian news agencies also revealed that the military was also conducting talks with Algeria and Cyprus. He said that it was essential for the Russian navy to be able to call at their ports to service its ships.
Shoigu said Russia was also talking to some of those countries asking them to allow long-range bombers to use their air bases for re-fuelling.
President Vladimir Putin has launched a massive military modernization program and sought to demonstrate Russia's global reach by sending navy ships to the Mediterranean, Latin America and other areas.
Russia according to Ria Novosti already has similar arrangements with Armenia, Tayikistán, Kirguizistán and Syria. Likewise in the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine, Russia has the outpost for its Black Sea fleet.
The fugitive Ukranian former prime minister Viktor Yanukovich was a close ally of Russia and President Putin his main support.