Russian Deputy Suggests Reinstalling Missiles in Cuba To Pressure the US

Sergei Mironov believes that the Kremlin must respond in this way to Washington’s support for Ukraine.

Cuba has no problem with positioning itself as a key military power in the region, after hosting a Russian flotilla in June / 14ymedio

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Mexico, 4 July 2024 — Legislator Sergei Mironov, leader of the Just Russia coalition and close to Vladimir Putin, suggested this Thursday that Russia carry out a missile deployment in Cuba similar to the one that caused the so-called October Crisis in 1962. According to Reuters, the politician, a member of the Lower House of Parliament, stated that installing weapons on the Island is one of the Kremlin’s many options if it wants to respond to the West’s support for Ukraine.

Mironov explained that, if Russia sends missiles to Cuba, it could give a signal to the United States, which militarily supports Ukraine and whose missiles were used in Ukrainian attacks against Russian targets in Crimea. “The possible use of a base in Cuba, which was recently visited by Russian ships transporting hypersonic weapons, is just one of the many options,” he said in a statement quoted by the British agency.

The proposal of the leader of Just Russia is similar to that made last January by the first vice president of the Defense Committee of the State Duma, Alexei Zhuravlev, who at that time wanted Russia to place nuclear weapons near the United States in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Today, the Cuban missile crisis could occur anywhere…

The legislator mentioned the October Crisis, adding that “today, the Cuban missile crisis could occur anywhere, taking into account the modern capabilities of the Russian Army, Air Force and Navy.” He also said that Washington had embarked on an arms race that could have “devastating consequences” for the United States.

Last week, Putin stated that Russia should resume production of intermediate-range and even shorter-range nuclear missiles and consider where to deploy them, after the United States brought similar missiles to Europe and Asia.

That detail did not go unnoticed by Mironov, who said that “it is worth remembering that the cause of the crisis of the 1960s was the deployment of American missiles in Turkey,” and “now the United States is again plotting to deploy weapons near the borders of Russia, supply long-range weapons to the Kiev regime and plan and direct attacks against Russian territory.”

It was 56 years ago that the intelligence services of US President John Kennedy discovered that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had deployed nuclear missiles in Cuba after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

The world was on tenterhooks for 13 days, from October 15, 1962, when the United States discovered the 42 Soviet missiles installed in San Cristóbal, until October 28, when Moscow ordered their withdrawal, in spite of the opinion of Fidel Castro, who had a more violent position in the conflict. This incident is considered the moment when the Cold War superpowers were closest to nuclear war.

In the middle of the Cold War, R-12 and R-14 missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, were installed in Cuba/ FidelCastro.Cu

The invasion of Ukraine in 2022 led Russia’s relations with the West to their lowest point since that moment and has earned Moscow the majority rejection of the international community. The Kremlin, for its part, has dusted off some old alliances that remained since the Soviet era, such as the one with Havana. The reactivation of this relationship has included a series of military exchanges, as well as the visit of a Russian naval fleet headed by a nuclear-powered submarine last month.

Cuba has no problem showing itself to its allies as a key military point in the region. Last December, the Cuban Army allowed a reporter from the Russian channel Zvezda to record part of its underground arsenal that includes war tanks, missile launchers, Russian Ural-4320 and Chinese Howo trucks. There were also soldiers capable of walking on barbed wire and a labyrinth of secret tunnels.

When the Russian flotilla entered the capital’s pier, at the beginning of June, the submarine Kazan and the frigate Admiral Gorshkov were carrying missiles of various types: hypersonic Zircon, cruiser Kalibr and anti-ship Onyx. On its way to Havana, the Russian flotilla passed very close to Florida, which set off alarms in the United States, which also deployed a flotilla in the area, in addition to sending a nuclear-powered submarine to its Guantánamo naval base, located in Cuban territory.

Translated by Regina Anavy


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.