Russia may soon deploy long-range cruise missiles in Cuba

Russian missiles deployed in Cuba and aimed at the U.S. is a threat that has never gone away. The only constant in this threat is one few will address directly: Cuba’s Castro dictatorship. Those who are critical of U.S. sanctions on Cuba like to say America is still stuck in the Cold War, conveniently forgetting that the only regime from the 1962 Cuban missile crisis still in power today with many of the same actors in charge is the Cuban regime. Once again, America is facing a threat of missiles 90 miles from our shore, and once again, the real culprit facilitating this threat will likely escape all scrutiny.

Via Diario de Cuba (my translation):

Russian Kalibr missiles may be deployed in Cuba ‘in the near future’

Russia could deploy cruise missiles to Cuba and Venezuela “in the near future,” and although these missiles would not carry nuclear warheads, they could strike strategic locations in the United States rapidly and precisely. This is according to a claim made by retired Russian Army Colonel Victor Baranets, a military expert for the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper and a Kremlin spokesman.

Baranets mentioned the topic, which had been speculated upon several times during 2022 following the invasion of Ukraine by Moscow, but which the Russian press has since stopped discussing. According to him, the Kremlin could deploy “smart missiles” on the island that do not carry a nuclear payload but are capable of destroying targets in the United States.

“Instead of nuclear weapons, missiles with a range of 2,500 kilometers could appear on the island. In case of danger, Russia will be able to attack important infrastructure facilities in the United States,” he commented to the Russian outlet PToday.

According to the article, the idea of deploying Russian military bases in Cuba and Venezuela was discarded due to the consequences this would have for the allied regimes under Washington’s sanctions. However, the idea remains active, with Moscow having a backup plan.

As per Baranets, “Russian submarines equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles could simply be sent to the region. Their range would be sufficient to target the United States territory if necessary.”

“Furthermore, long-range tactical aviation could be transferred to Cuba. In the near future, the Tu-22M3 and various anti-submarine aircraft could be deployed near the borders of the United States. Russia might deploy S-400 systems in the region, allowing them to respond more rapidly to potential threats from the United States or other NATO countries,” the expert remarked.

Likewise, he anticipated that Russia might decide to conduct large-scale military exercises in Cuba. “These will be significantly larger than those conducted by NATO in the Black Sea, as due to the Montreux Convention, the Alliance cannot deploy more warships in the region,” he commented.

“We will simply bring our weapons to Cuban military units,” said Baranets, expressing confidence that if Russian submarines and other equipment appear near the borders of the United States, the Pentagon would experience “real panic.”

Putin has invoked the alleged invincibility of the Kalibr missile as an advantage in his invasion of Ukraine and has threatened to use it against other countries. The high-precision, long-range missile can be installed on ships, submarines, as well as in naval and coastal defense.

Russia’s military plans in Cuba are becoming increasingly present in the global geopolitical landscape. Last April, during Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Cuba, he did not deny the possibility of deploying Russian missiles on the island.

Last month, Russian media confirmed that Lieutenant General and Hero of Russia Andrei Gushchin heads the Kremlin’s military delegation in Havana. Gushchin previously led Moscow’s troops in the Chechen invasion and in Syria.

In June, the Latvian outlet The Insider had claimed their presence in Havana by uncovering Moscow’s espionage network operating from the island, presumably against US targets. This network reportedly includes specialists in rocketry, cyber experts, and espionage specialists.

Among these experts are Dmitry Mikhushchenko, a space scientist who studied at the Military Institute of Missile Forces in Rostov, and Roman Lyubushkin, labeled by The Insider as “missile specialists.” The latter allegedly graduated from the Academy of Strategic Missile Forces, named after Peter the Great.

Both Mikhushchenko and Lyubushkin are purportedly responsible for identifying targets to be attacked with missiles. “Some graduates of the Missile Academy serve in the Main Computing Center (MCC) of the Ministry of Defense. Previously, they targeted missiles at objectives in Syria, and now at Ukrainian cities,” The Insider claimed.

All this information has surfaced after the beginning of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, with increased contacts between high-ranking military and security officials from Moscow and Havana, as well as coordination between Cuba’s oppressive regime and Russia, in addition to China.

Over the past two years, visits by Russian military officials to Cuba have increased, while the scandal over recruiting inhabitants of the island to serve as mercenaries in the Kremlin’s military forces in their invasion of Ukraine remains without a definitive official response.

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