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Posted September 04, 2008 by publisher in Cuba Human Rights

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(Sorry, couldn’t help throw that “all quiet” comment in the title)


Cuba’s state-run media on Thursday highlighted the arrival of Russian aid in the wake of devastating Hurricane Gustav, the latest sign the former Cold War allies are out to strengthen their relations.

State-run television showed two huge cargo planes arriving at Havana’s Jose Marti airport at the top of its morning news broadcast.

Cuban soldiers were seen unloading supplies such as tents, electrical cables and construction materials.

Such scenes have not been seen in Cuba since the Soviet Union collapsed.

U.S. officials have expressed concern over the warming trend in relations between the two countries.

The ghost of Cuba-Russia relations past was raised in July by a news report that Russia might use Cuba as a refueling base for its nuclear-capable bombers. The Russian Defense Ministry later denied the report.

Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin went to Havana in August on what was billed as an economic trip and, accompanied by Russian Security Council Secretary Gen. Nikolai Patrushev, met with Cuban President Raul Castro.

Raul Castro became president in February after his brother Fidel Castro resigned for health reasons.

The security council, which guides Russian national security policy, later said in a statement the two countries planned “consistent work to restore traditional relations in all areas of co-operation.”

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chimed in later, saying, “We need to re-establish positions on Cuba and in other countries.”

Cuba has sided with Russia in the Georgia crisis.

Russian President Dimitri Medvedev promised four planes with more than 200 tonnes of emergency supplies after Gustav hit Cuba on Saturday.

Communist Party newspaper Granma’s top story on Thursday covered a conversation between President Raul Castro and President Medvedev in which the latter pledged to speed up implementation of cooperation plans.

The Russian aid was the first to arrive in Cuba after Gustav, packing record high winds, devastated parts of westernmost Pinar del Rio province and the Isle of Youth.

Russia’s ambassador to Cuba was scheduled to tour the area this week.

Granma said allies Venezuela and China as well as other countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Mexico had also offered assistance.

Moscow gave Cuba billions of dollars worth of aid during their long alliance and, at the height of their dominance, stationed thousands of troops and advisers on the island.

When the Soviet Union unraveled in 1991, the aid dried up, Cuba plunged into a deep economic crisis and then-leader Fidel Castro denounced Russia for betraying the island.

(Reporting by Marc Frank; editing by Eric Walsh)

  1. Follow up post #1 added on September 04, 2008 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    And this from the Russian News Agency about Russian aid planes landing in Cuba.

    Sad that President Bush being such the family man and all about doing what’s right for the old Cuban exiles in Florida but I guess the common Cuban citizen can’t get any love from President Bush.

    Really sad. What a way to go out. He could reach out and be a great humanitarian and Raul and Fidel would probably accept aid but No… not for this President.

    “Sorry Cuban people, can’t help ya.”

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on September 04, 2008 by manfredz with 464 total posts

    just another cahnce passed up.  Could have been that the Cuban government would refuse to accept any US Aid or put so many strings on it but alas we’ll never find out.  Besides American scene has been too full of what the Cat 1 did to New orleans (or better yet, what it didn’t do (fortunately) and the Republican convention.

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