The creation of a Russian military base in Cuba was not discussed between Raul Castro and Moscow, said Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Nor are there any plans for Russian warships to escort tankers to the island nation amid US repression.
When asked by Rossiya Channel 1 about speculation that he and Castro discussed the establishment of a permanent military base in the Caribbean, only 180 km off the US coast, Medvedev was brief.
Let them talk
"We discussed cooperation, remembered our past, as we first met," said the prime minister.
He mentioned that Castro considered US sanctions against Cuba an "incomprehensible child solution." The military presence was not mentioned.
While the Soviets never established a permanent base in Cuba, a so-called training brigade was set up on the island after the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The unit, made up of Soviet military experts, was a closely guarded secret until 1979, but played a role. more or less symbolic. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the 1,500 contingent was withdrawn.
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Some Cubans have never stopped waiting for renewed Moscow military aid, and this includes the idea of Russian warships escorting tankers to avoid US sanctions on Cuba and its main oil supplier, Venezuela. But Medvedev rejected this idea.
We'll find other ways Cuba can get oil
As for the economy, Medvedev pointed out that the turnover between Russia and Cuba increased significantly, as did Russian investments. Russian companies will upgrade almost 1,000 km of Cuban railways under the new agreement.
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