Russia’s Putin may be planning to use Cuba to threaten the U.S.

Cuba’s communist Castro dictatorship is a sworn enemy of the U.S., and no amount of appeasement or unilateral concessions by Biden will ever change that. Putin knows this well and may use it to his advantage.

An analysis by George Friedman in Geopolitical Futures:

In Cuba, Russia Explores a Counter

Yesterday, Russia announced that President Vladimir Putin would have an important phone call later in the day, without revealing whom he would talk to. To the surprise of many, it was Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel. The subject of their conversation was energy and industry, and though they may well have talked about both, the suspense Moscow built around the conversation suggests the call was more important than the buying and selling of crude.

I’ve written before about how important Cuba is to U.S. security. It’s the reason Washington has been obsessed with Cuba since Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, and why the Cuban Missile Crisis was in Cuba and not somewhere else. Back then, the threat was over Russian nukes in Cuba. Today that is not a threat, as both sides have intercontinental ballistic missiles. But there is another threat. This time around, the threat is the blockading of ports along the Gulf of Mexico – places such as Beaumont and New Orleans – that are utterly vital to U.S. trade.

Blockading these ports would deal a serious blow to the U.S. economy. Cuban waters between the United States and Mexico are relatively narrow waterways that could be closed by submarines, aircraft and anti-ship missiles launched from multiple platforms. It is one of the most vulnerable and valuable chokepoints in North America. I suspect that this is what Moscow secretly had in mind in the early 1960s.

Either way, Russia has been fixated on Cuba for decades. For Moscow, Cuba was the key to Latin America and, as important, a perpetual irritant to the United States. Today, the United States is supporting Ukraine, overseeing blockades on dollars and goods, holding a force on standby in the Mediterranean Sea. Russia desperately needs a counter. Using nuclear weapons against the United States would result in the near-immediate death of Russian leadership. Economic pain inflicted in Cuban waters may be just what Moscow is looking for.

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