Putin’s government increases weapons sales, military cooperation as U.S. reduces aid to the region
Recent reports that Cuban military personnel are on the ground in Syria to support the alliance between Russia and the Assad regime underscore Moscow’s efforts to establish its most significant foothold in Latin America since the Cold War, analysts say.
A U.S. official told Fox News that Cuban paramilitary and special operations forces arrived in Syria to assist Russia, which has deployed troops and equipment and launched airstrikes in recent weeks to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Cuban troops could be there to advise the Syrian army or operate Russian-made tanks. The White House said in response that it has seen no evidence that Cuban forces are actually in Syria. Continue reading
The United States has been quite vocal about its “pivot to Asia,” but as Washington seeks to further its influence in the Asia-Pacific, China has been quietly upping its own importance to Central and Latin America. Now China is making a push to further its engagement with countries in the Western Hemisphere, as evidenced by the announcement of a new dialogue mechanism. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which met in Cuba from January 28 to 29, adopted a statement announcing the establishment of a China-CELAC Forum. Continue reading
While most eyes have been fixated on China, Russia, Europe or the middle east over the years; in our own backyard Latin America has been forming into a regional hegemonic bloc, threat and challenge to the United States.
Finally, Pravda notes with satisfaction the devotion of Latin America’s Red Axis leaders to Russia, Cuba, China, and Iran, as well as regional integration:
Chavez, Morales and Correa are charismatic leaders who have gained global admiration and support. They favor a multi-polar world, anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism. They share strong ties to other Latin American countries, Cuba, China, Russia and Iran.
Latin American strength is founded on unification. Chavez, Morales and Correa are fiery champions of ALBA (Alliance for the Peoples of our America), UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) and the newly created CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States). Latin America has its own virtual currency, the SUCRE, and its own regional bank, BANCO DEL SUR.
Something tells me, though, that even if a Republican returns to the White House in 2013, Washington’s response to the “Red Spread” south of the border will be piecemeal at best. The Oval Office needs the robust ideological presence of another Ronald Reagan, in our opinion, America’s last great president.
Incidentally, Communist China, which had virtually no presence in Latin America and the Caribbean during the Cold War, has carved out new niches in this region, including one that suggests a “Red Cocaine” scenario.
Earlier this month, the Mexican navy reported the seizure of 195 tons of methylamine, a chemical used to make the synthetic drug methamphetamine, as well as synthetic cocaine. Mexican authorities found 12 shipping containers full of this precursor chemical at the Pacific coast port of Lazaro Cardenas. The shipment originated in Red China and was destined for Guatemala and Nicaragua. Mexican navy officials said the drug cartels terrorizing their country have expanded their methamphetamine operations to Guatemala. Not so coincidentally, the port facility at Lazaro Cardenas is operated by Hutchison-Whampoa, which is owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, who in turn is closely allied with the Communist Party of China.
According to a 2011 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the world’s main producers of synthetic drugs remain the Netherlands and Myanmar (Burma), but manufacture has lately spread to Latin America.
Continue reading article: Latin America File: Russia hails formation of Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, “anti-imperialist” regional bloc embraces Cuba, excludes USA and Canada, widely perceived as counterweight to OAS; Pravda praises “socialist tide sweeping” South America (Once Upon A Time in the West)