Russia vs. China – November 14, 2008
In a little more than two months, Pres.-elect Obama will take office in Washington, D.C. and the whole world will be watching. The Biden-promised international challenge to Obama’s “mettle”, will be one step closer. The greatest danger could be an old one – Russian missiles in Cuba pointed in our direction. That’s bad enough, but Russia and Venezuela have become quite chummy lately and their leaders went to Cuba together to visit the Castro brothers a couple of weeks ago.
Worry you at all? Well, how about this? Chinese President Hu Jintao will be visiting Cuba after the G-20 summit of government leaders in Washington in November. This isn’t a new relationship between these two countries nor between the Castros and Jintao. They’ve had an economical and philosophical closeness for years. This is expected to be a strenghtening of their ties.
What’s worrisome is the lengths to which the new leader, Raul Castro, may be willing to go to, to get the financial aid Cuba needs in the world’s biggest economical meltdown in decades. Fidel killed any possibilies of Cuban prosperity and well-being of it’s citizens when he adopted strict socialism, a fact not lost on Jintao. China, on the other hand, blended socialism with capitalism and the Chinese society is doing much better than other socialist/communitist countries. although the lack of freedom precludes any sense of well-being.
The best and most important thing Cuba has to offer is its proximity to the United States and the Panama Canal, something China’s been interested in for many years. China’s president may be looking to establish a Chinese naval base on Cuba’s shores before Russia does, noting Russia’s very recent visit to Cuba with six of its naval ships. There’s certainly no official word on that. If such an idea lurked in the mind of Jintao, he would be wise to keep it to himself until execution time.
We may be seeing a competition developing between Russia and China for the right to build a base on Cuba just off America’s shores. Medvedev, Chavez and Jintao aren’t likely to sit down at the table and hold a discussion with Obama. They will simply make the deal with the Castros and build the base. Once the base is in, their ships will patrol our waters and their missiles may be pointing at us.
“Russian leader Medvedev heading to Cuba, Venezuela … which have increasing military and trade ties with Moscow.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081114/ap_on_re_eu/eu_russia_medvedev_cuba
“China’s Hu to visit Washington, Cuba…Castro may be hoping for Chinese help to weather the global financial crisis, which has come as a painful blow to the small island nation, already reeling from two powerful hurricanes and soaring import prices.” http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE4A32BK20081104
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