Rebuilding Cuban Army is a daunting task, assesses Russian report on general’s visit

Miami herald: Russia will have a big job in its hands once it begins to rebuild Cuba’s armed forces, the newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta pointed out Monday in an article titled “Cadres from Makarov: Russia will train Cuban Army officers.” (For background, read previous blog items on the visit to Cuba of Gen. Nikolai Makarov.)
“After talks with Cuban leader Raúl Castro, [Makarov] announced two principal agreements: Cuban officers will again study at our military colleges and training centers, and Russian defense industry specialists will help Havana modernize its combat arsenal,” the paper said.
Recalling that “the Soviet Union supplied Cuba with large quantities of equipment and armaments,” the paper remarked that many of those units “are out of order and require repair and restoration. […] The general did not conceal that we’re talking about large-scale tasks,” the article said. “The Cuban Army is large enough, with more than 550,000 servicemen and officers. On the basis of the number of weapons, it’s on a par with theleading countries of Latin America.”
But Cuba’s arsenal is of Soviet vintage and in disrepair. “For example, out of 150 fighters, two thirds of them are MiG-21s and MiG-23s. True, Cuba bought several MiG-29s from Russia but they don’t spend much time on the airfield,” the writer said, insinuating that they spend more time in the repair shop. “A similar situation afflicts the tanks, armored personnel carriers, antiaircraft-missile complexes and communications systems.” (PHOTO SHOWS a MiG-21.)
Information appears to have leaked that Russia and Cuba “may establish joint ventures for the production of small arms and ammunition, and the repair and modernization of aircraft and armored vehicles, along the lines of what Russia already does in India and other countries.”
As to the conditions of sale, “it is clear that the giveaways of supplies and manpower that were common in the middle of the last century are out of the question. On the other hand, [payment] terms for Havana can be made sufficiently soft. Russia is interested in a partnership with Cuba and for that reason will likely make some financial concessions.”
“According to experts, [Raúl] Castro can reciprocate by allowing the pilots of our long-range aircraft to touch down in local military airfields and permitting Russian seamen to use Cuban ports to replenish their food and supplies,” the paper said.
And referring to the official flag of the Russian Navy – a blue cross on a white field – the article ended by saying that “Makarov hinted that the Andreyev flag could fly permanently in the Caribbean basin.” – Cuba travel online


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One Response to Rebuilding Cuban Army is a daunting task, assesses Russian report on general’s visit

  1. Pingback: Rebuilding Cuban Army is a daunting task, assesses Russian report … | JewelMend.Com

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