|This is a Russian base in Cuba which is now slated to be reopened. (Photo: Photograph: Cristobal Herrera/AP )|
I like many of the ordinary Russian people I met when I was in both Vladivostok and then Moscow for a month a few years ago. I have nothing but respect for the people. As a group, if any generalizations at all can be made, they are a creative, tenacious, generous and strong bunch. I have many Russian friends and I appreciate their adaptation to the entrepreneureal spirit and their sense of humor. I have often said that even if that particular Russian family has little, they will give you half. Russia breeds determined strong people as the weather alone will kill off anyone who is the least bit ambivalent about remaining alive! Of course, just as I can't be blamed for the foibles of our own president, the Russian people are often separate and distinct from the actions and ideas of their own leaders.
Recently, Mr. Putin made a trip to Cuba, which is only 155 miles from the United States mainland. He forgave thirty two billion dollars in Cuban debt to Russia in order to sweeten the deal. (Yes, 90% of Cuba's debt to Russia) Mr. Putin has asked if he may resurrect a massive Soviet era style base for the purpose of "listening to this hemisphere". He has received permission. This will be the only Russian listening post and base in the Western hemisphere. Do you remember my prior post some time ago, where I said that our high schools and universities should be teaching Russian, if just to monitor Russia's official actions AND potential terrorism from there ?
In addition, this is one more important news item which is being reported on foreign news services, but I have not heard even a mention of it from US News services. US mainstream news outlets continue to do an abyssmal job of letting us know what is really going on, both here and around the world. Where was Mr. Obama while this was being negotiated ? Probably golfing or getting a nap, but he doesn't actually appear to be working in US interests anyway. Did you know that Russia has asked whether it can put a base in Alaska ? I'll bet Mr. Obama doesn't either.
Information on the new Russian Cuban Base: