Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bird Against Any New Russian Military Base In Cuba

Bird Against Any New Russian Military Base In Cuba
Written by Ken Richards
Published: 18 October 2016

St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): A former Prime Minister is urging the United
States and the Caribbean to speak out against Russia re-establishing a
base in Cuba.

The Russians are considering restoring military bases in Vietnam and
Cuba, Cold War flash points and lasting symbols of the enmity between
the US and Soviet Union.

The Defense Minister in Moscow, Nikolai Pankov, was quoted earlier this
month by Russian news agencies as saying that Moscow is "rethinking" the
decision to close the bases.

Former Antigua Prime Minister Lester Bird is rejecting what he contends
would be a bad decision, and argues for the Caribbean to remain a zone
of peace.

"I don't think that the next President is going to allow Cuba carte
blanche to be able to allow Russia to once again embed itself in the
Caribbean and even Latin American countries are saying that we want this
area to be a zone of peace and that was the methodology that we used
when I used to attend CARICOM meetings. The real notion is the Caribbean
must be a zone of peace and if he's gonna go and once again re-establish
the Russian presence in Cuba we in the Caribbean are going to have a
problem on our hands."

According to the former prime minister, a Russian presence in the
Caribbean would be dangerous for the whole hemisphere.

"America cannot allow Russia to go into Cuba, so we're back to 1962 all
over again, where John Kennedy had to flex his muscle. The question is
what is CARICOM gonna do about it? Are we going to side with Putin? Are
we going to side with the United States?

Winn FM pointed out that Russia and Cuba are sovereign nations if they
are allies they can take decisions in their own best interest.

"No they cannot anymore willy nilly do it. In the days of the
confrontation of communism and the west there was a vacuum that existed
that allowed them to do that but I am saying to you that I don't think
that the United States is going to sit by and allow Cuba and Russia to
establish a situation which is in confrontation with the United States
and if you ask me what I mean I think it may come to the point of
confrontation. That is what is possible, they can't just take the
position that ok, we heard it is a free situation and that they can go
back in as it was before. The situation is not the same and I think that
CARICOM and Latin America better begin to understand what is about to
happen and to head it off at the pass, it is very, very vital." Bird

Bird, who is an opposition MP in the Antigua parliament, says Russia and
the US returning to a cold war situation is untenable.

Recent tensions between the two are being seen as a stepping stone to
such a development.

"We have to be able to use our influence, such as it is in the United
Nations and in other forums, to try and explain both to the United
States and to Russia that those days are over, where they can just
because they have nuclear weapons, that they cannot in fact control what
happens in the world."

Source: WINN FM - Bird Against Any New Russian Military Base In Cuba -
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