A New Cold War in the Caribbean?

Here at the Q Wealth Report, we’re a very international publication but we tend to focus a lot on the bad that the US government is doing. That’s no accident. The US is the world’s only superpower, and the US government does tend to stick its nose in a lot of places. We arre reminded of a quote from Richard Mayberry, For two centuries, the US government’s foreign policy has never wavered from its habit of poking sharp sticks at rattlesnakes.”

Of course, there’s are other reasons. Although sometimes people might think we are US-bashers, we are certainly not. The US has a great constitution and some of the best people on earth. So we are naturally sad to see what is going on there and we will duly express our opposition to a lot of US government policy.

The latest stick the US government has been busy shaking is at a bear, not a rattlesnake – and not entirely without justification this time, either. Russia is a force to be reckoned with, much more so than it was even five years ago. The Russian government is unpredictable in the extreme, does not respect private property, and is highly corrupt. And, some would argue, Russia has never really forgiven America for winning the Cold War. The recently agreed missile defense system to be based on territory of the Czech Republic has infuriated Russia.

Russia has been quietly building up influence in Asia, and watching what is going on in the middle east, possibly preparing to make moves.

However, Russia is building up influence closer to home too, which should scare Americans, as if they don’t have enough problems at the moment. Time magazine this week runs an article asking if there will be a new Cold War in the Caribbean. It shows Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on a trip to Russia, to buy more than $1 billion worth of military equipment.

Alongside the news reports of the trip, the Moscow newspaper Izvestia quoted high-level Russian military officials as suggesting that Russia might restart flying long-range bombers into Cuba. That, according to Time, prompted U.S. Air Force General Norton Schwartz, President Bush’s nominee for Air Force Chief of Staff, to tell a congressional confirmation hearing the next day that if the Russians were to base nuclear-capable bombers in Cuba, “I think we should stand strong and indicate that is something that crosses a threshold, crosses a red line.”

Time continues with some analysis:

The significance of the Izvestia bluster isn’t that the Russians could be coming again — Moscow’s Defense Minister later said any air force arrangement in Cuba would most likely involve stops for fuel rather than actual bases — but that they’ve returned to the idea of using the Caribbean to try to leverage Washington. The latest gestures may be designed as a warning to Washington that if it goes ahead with stationing a missile shield on Russia’s borders, Moscow could reciprocate in America’s backyard.

Certainly something to watch and think about. We’ll be doing just that.

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