Russia strengthens ties with Latin America

Latin America and the Caribbean

Over the past month, the U.S. and regional press has been paying closer attention to Russia's relations with such Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba and even Colombia. In September, Russian Vice-Prime Minister Igor Sechin traveled to Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba to meet with his counterparts in each country to discuss the potential increase in economic, military, and political cooperation between each country and Russia. In September, two Russian T-160 strategic bombers visited Venezuela for a joint military exercise and a Russian navy squadron is currently en route to the Caribbean for joint exercises with the Venezuelan navy. Russia also has begun preliminary discussions with Cuba to help the country develop its own space center, has announced it will replace the Nicaraguan army's aging weaponry, and has started talks with Venezuela about developing a peaceful nuclear energy program. Bolivian President Evo Morales recently announced that he will seek Russia's aid for the country's counternarcotics program, and Colombia's Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos even traveled to Russia to discuss defense and counternarcotics cooperation. Below are links to media coverage from the past month about Russia's renewed interest in Latin America. With the exception of the Venezuelan-Russian military exercise, U.S. officials have sought to downplay this interest in their public statements. It is apparent, however, that the U.S. government is watching these developments closely. Analysis: The Guardian: The cold war comes to the Caribbean Front Page Magazine: Chávez's dangerous liaisons Semana (Colombia): Calentando la guerra fria: Heating up the cold war New Statesman: Cuban missile crisis II? Venezuela: El Universal (Venezuela): Presidente Dmitri Medvedev visitará Venezuela en noviembre: President Dimitri Medvedev will visit Venezuela in November AP: Russia: Arms sales to Venezuela are defensive AFP: Cooperación nuclear entre Moscu y Caracas desata la pol?©mica: Nuclear cooperation between Moscow and Caracas unleashes controversy AP: Venezuela to build nuclear technology with Russia New York Times: Russia loans Venezuela $1 billion for military Reuters: Putin offers nuclear energy help to Chávez BBC: Russia and Venezuela boost ties AP: Putin, Chávez discuss ways to constrain U.S. power EFE: Hablan Chávez y Medvedev de cooperación economía y militar: Chávez and Medvedev discuss economic and military cooperation AP: Crece alianza Venezuela-Rusia: Venezuelan-Russian alliance grows New York Times: Russia and Venezuela confirm joint military exercises Nicaragua: AP: Russia to modernize Nicaraguan military's arsenal El Nuevo Diario (Nicaragua): Condoleezza despectiva con Ortega: Condoleezza derogatory toward Ortega El Nuevo Diario: Viceprimer ministro de Rusia visitará este miercoles Nicaragua: Russian Vice-Prime Minister to visit Nicaragua on Wednesday Cuba: Reuters: Russia to help Cuba build space center Bolivia: AP: Ambassador: Russia looking to boost Bolivia ties BBC Mundo: Bolivia y Rusia, nuevos aliados: Bolivia and Russia, new allies La Prensa (Panama): Bolivia busca apoyo de Rusia: Bolivia looks for Russian support Colombia: El Espectador (Colombia):Moscu propone a Colombia combatir el creciente trafico de cocaína: Moscow makes a proposal to Colombia to combat the rise in narcotrafficking El Tiempo (Colombia): Fortalecer cooperacion de seguridad, objetivo de viaje del Ministro de Defensa a Rusia: Strengthening security cooperation, objective of the Defense Minister's trip to Russia