The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Back to the Future IV

August 7, 2008

Do you have secret longings for the cold war? Vladimir Putin apparently does. Here’s the AP lede from 2 days ago:

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is calling for Russia to regain its influential position in former Cold War ally Cuba, Russian news reports said Monday.

The statement comes amid persistent speculation about whether Russia is seeking a military presence in a country just 90 miles (150 kilometers) from the United States in response to U.S. plans to place missile-defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic.

“We should restore our position in Cuba and other countries,” Putin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

A former Russian defense advisor is quoted in the same story:

“It is not a secret that the West is creating a ‘buffer zone’ around Russia, involving countries in central Europe, the Caucasus, the Baltic states and Ukraine,” the agency quoted Leonid Ivashov, the head of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, as saying. “In response, we may expand our military presence abroad, including in Cuba.”

To be fair, United States policy toward Cuba is basically the same as it was for decades during the cold war.

Back in February, I noted that Barack Obama says that his presidency would reverse some US cold war era policies towards Cuba.

In May, Obama spoke to Cuban Americans in Florida and basically affirmed his previously announced polices — though he framed them somewhat differently. John McCain attacked him for being soft on Cuba.

Just what has been achieved during 5 decades of hard-line policies towards Cuba?

+ posts

Rodger A. Payne is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville. He serves on the University’s Sustainability Council and was a co-founder of the Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice program. He is the author of dozens of journal articles and book chapters and coauthor, with Nayef Samhat, of Democratizing Global Politics: Discourse Norms, International Regimes, and Political Community (SUNY, 2004). He is currently working on two major projects, one exploring the role of narratives in international politics and the other examining the implications of America First foreign policy.