Noticias

Barcos de guerra de Rusia llegan a La Habana tras realizar maniobras en el Atlántico / Russian warships reach Cuban waters ahead of military exercises in the Caribbean

BY ANDREA RODRÍGUEZ – LA HABANA (AP) — Barcos de guerra de la Marina de Rusia, incluidos una fragata y un submarino de propulsión nuclear, llegaron el miércoles al puerto de la capital de Cuba luego de realizar maniobras de práctica en el océano Atlántico que fueron monitoreadas por Estados Unidos.

Los dos primeros buques, un petrolero y un remolcador, atravesaron lentamente la boca de la bahía de La Habana a primera hora de la mañana bajo un aguacero, según pudo confirmar The Associated Press. Las embarcaciones navegaban acompañadas por guías, pequeños botes que dirigían su avance por el estrecho canal de entrada.

Poco después los siguió una fragata que fue saludada por 21 salvas de cañón disparadas por sus colegas militares cubanos desde la fortaleza militar de La Cabaña. La embarcación pintada de gris ingresó a la rada local con marineros vestidos de gala y adornada con las banderas de Rusia y Cuba. Finalmente se produjo el ingreso del submarino.

El paso por Cuba de una flota compuesta por la fragata Gorshkov, el submarino nuclear Kazan y dos naves de apoyo —el petrolero Pashin y el remolcador de salvamento Nikolai Chiker— había sido confirmado por la Cancillería cubana la semana pasada en un comunicado, que indicó que el atraque se produciría entre el 12 y el 17 de junio.

Muchos cubanos detuvieron sus actividades habituales por la Avenida del Puerto, que corre paralela al canal de entrada de la bahía, para ver el lento paso de las naves y tomarse fotos. No se reportó un incremento de la actividad militar en el área.

“Latinoamérica es una zona de paz y Estados Unidos debe tomarlo (a la presencia de las naves de la nación euroasiática) como lo que es, una visita de cortesía”, dijo a AP Doris Vera, una asesora económica de 60 años. 

Unos metros más allá, el ingeniero Romualdo Sánchez, de 67 años, indicó que espera que el arribo sea “provechoso” para las relaciones de Cuba y Rusia pero descartó que se convirtiera en “una amenaza para Estados Unidos”.

La víspera el Ministerio de Defensa ruso indicó que las embarcaciones pertenecientes a la Flota del Norte estuvieron realizando maniobras en el Atlántico. 

Según esa dependencia la fragata Gorshkov y el submarino de propulsión nuclear Kazán llevaron a cabo el ejercicio, el cual tenía por objeto simular un ataque con misiles contra un grupo de buques enemigos. Las maniobras consistieron en un supuesto ataque contra objetivos marítimos situados a más de 600 kilómetros de distancia.

La semana pasada funcionarios de la administración del presidente estadounidense Joe Biden dijeron que seguirían de cerca las maniobras en aguas internacionales del Caribe aunque no las consideraron ofensivas.

Este miércoles el asesor de Seguridad Nacional de Estados Unidos, Jake Sullivan, destacó que no es la primera vez que naves rusas se acercan al área. “Hemos visto estos despliegues navales rusos navegando hacia Cuba durante la administración (de George) Bush, la administración (de Barack) Obama, la administración (de Donad) Trump y ahora la administración Biden. Es algo que observamos de cerca, con atención”

Expertos destacaron, en tanto, la importancia geopolítica de la visita naval rusa en áreas aledañas a Estados Unidos.

Ryan Berg, director del Programa de las Américas del Center for Strategic & International Studies con sede en Washington, dijo a AP en un correo electrónico que “la doctrina militar y de defensa rusa mantiene a América Latina y el Caribe en una posición importante. La región es vista como una esfera de influencia estadounidense y, por tanto, es el contrapeso a la proyección de poder estadounidense en el teatro europeo, especialmente en el exterior cercano de Rusia”. 

Agregó que “si bien esto probablemente no sea más que una provocación por parte de Moscú, envía un mensaje sobre la capacidad de Rusia para proyectar poder en el hemisferio occidental con la ayuda de sus aliados y ciertamente mantendrá al ejército estadounidense en alerta máxima mientras esté en el teatro de operaciones”.

El arribo de las naves se produce además en momentos en que el canciller cubano Bruno Rodríguez se encuentra de visita oficial en Moscú, adonde se entrevistó con su homólogo Sergei Lavrov el miércoles. El país euroasático es un fuerte aliado de la isla tanto en el plano ideológico como económico.

Medios de prensa rusos indicaron que Lavrov reafirmó —durante una conferencia de prensa posterior al encuentro con Rodríguez— la intención de Moscú de apoyar a Cuba en reacción a los desastres naturales, las repercusiones por la pandemia de COVID-19 de la cual no ha logrado recuperarse, así como el “efecto drásticamente negativo” de las sanciones de Estados Unidos contra la isla.

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La corresponsal de AP Gisela Salomon contribuyó desde Miami con este reporte.

más aquí https://apnews.com/world-news/general-news-9b75a572f4038a42cb6d8a68d2ef7247

Russian warships reach Cuban waters ahead of military exercises in the Caribbean

BY REGINA GARCIA CANO, GISELA SALOMON AND ANDREA RODRÍGUEZ – HAVANA (AP) — A fleet of Russian warships reached Cuban waters on Wednesday ahead of planned military exercises in the Caribbean that some see as a projection of strength as tensions grow over Western support for Ukraine.

The fleet, made up of a frigate, a nuclear-powered submarine, an oil tanker and a rescue tug, crossed into Havana Bay after drills in the Atlantic Ocean. The flagship frigate, adorned with the Russian and Cuban flags, was greeted by a 21-cannon salute.

Russian sailors aboard the frigate stood in military formation as they approached the island. Some Cuban residents stopped to take pictures of the arriving ships.

U.S. officials expect the Russian ships to remain in the region through the summer and possibly also stop in Venezuela.

Russia is a longtime ally of Venezuela and Cuba, and its warships and aircraft have periodically made forays into the Caribbean. But this mission comes less than two weeks after President Joe Biden authorized Ukraine to use U.S.-provided weapons to strike inside Russia to protect Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, prompting President Vladimir Putin to suggest his military could respond with “asymmetrical steps” elsewhere in the world.

“Most of all, the warships are a reminder to Washington that it is unpleasant when an adversary meddles in your near abroad,” said Benjamin Gedan, director of the Latin America Program at the Washington-based Wilson Center think tank, referring to the Western involvement in Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“It also reminds Russia’s friends in the region, including U.S. antagonists Cuba and Venezuela, that Moscow is on their side,” he said.

Although the fleet includes a nuclear-powered submarine, a senior U.S. administration official told The Associated Press that the intelligence community has determined no vessel is carrying nuclear weapons. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details that had not been announced publicly, said Russia’s deployments “pose no direct threat to the United States.”

Russian ships have occasionally docked in Havana since 2008, when a group of Russian vessels entered Cuban waters in what state media described as the first such visit in almost two decades. In 2015, a reconnaissance and communications ship arrived unannounced in Havana a day before the start of discussions between U.S. and Cuban officials on the reopening of diplomatic relations.

A State Department spokesperson told the AP that Russia’s port calls in Cuba are “routine naval visits,” while acknowledging its military exercises “have ratcheted up because of U.S. support to Ukraine and exercise activity in support of our NATO allies.”

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hosted his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodríguez, for talks in Moscow. Speaking to reporters after the talks, Lavrov thanked the Cuban authorities for their position on Ukraine.

“From the very beginning, Havana gave an assessment of what was happening outlining the absolutely correct, true reasons for what was unfolding (in Ukraine), and what was being prepared by the West for many years,” Lavrov said.

Russian military and defense doctrine holds Latin America and the Caribbean in an important position, with the sphere seen as under U.S. influence acting as a counterweight to Washington’s activities in Europe, said Ryan Berg, director of the Americas Program at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“While this is likely little more than provocation from Moscow, it sends a message about Russia’s ability to project power into the Western Hemisphere with the help of its allies, and it will certainly keep the U.S. military on high alert while they are in theater,” Berg said.

The timing of this year’s mission may serve Russia’s purposes, but it is also raising questions of whether Venezuela’s government may use it as an opportunity to shore up President Nicolás Maduro’s bid for a third term in the July 28 election.

Venezuela’s chief opposition coalition is threatening the ruling party’s decadeslong grip on power, and engineering a crisis built on simmering tensions with Guyana is among the scenarios that analysts believe Maduro’s government could use to delay or cancel the vote.

“It is almost unthinkable that Maduro will risk actually losing power,” said Evan Ellis, Latin America research professor with the U.S. Army War College.

“The most obvious alternative, consistent with Venezuelan military’s recent moves … is to fabricate an international crisis that would provide an excuse for ‘postponing’ Venezuela’s election,” he continued. “The presence of Russian warships in the vicinity would greatly add to the escalation risk of any such crisis that Maduro would fabricate, which is possibly the point.”

The Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov frigate arrives at the port of Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. A fleet of Russian warships reached Cuban waters on Wednesday ahead of planned military exercises in the Caribbean. (AP Photo/Ariel Ley)
The Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov frigate arrives at the port of Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. A fleet of Russian warships reached Cuban waters on Wednesday ahead of planned military exercises in the Caribbean. (AP Photo/Ariel Ley)
People watch the nuclear-powered submarine Kazan arrive at the port of Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. A fleet of Russian warships arrived in Cuban waters Wednesday ahead of planned military exercises in the Caribbean. (AP Photo/Ariel Ley)
People watch the nuclear-powered submarine Kazan arrive at the port of Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. A fleet of Russian warships arrived in Cuban waters Wednesday ahead of planned military exercises in the Caribbean. (AP Photo/Ariel Ley)

Venezuelan voters approved a referendum in December to claim sovereignty over the Essequibo territory, which accounts for two-thirds of Guyana and lies near big offshore oil deposits. Venezuela argues it was stolen when the border was drawn more than a century ago.

Guyana is awaiting a decision regarding Venezuela’s claim from the International Court of Justice, but Maduro’s government does not recognize its authority. The two countries squared off there on Tuesday, with Guyana strenuously objecting to a request from Venezuela for 12 more months to submit additional pleadings.

The U.S. supports Guyana in the ongoing dispute and assisted it with surveillance flights late last year when Venezuela had threatened to invade the country. Guyana’s government last month gave permission for the U.S. military to fly two powerful F/A-18F Super Hornet jets over its capital in a demonstration of close cooperation.

Guyana’s Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on June 6 acknowledged that the Russian fleet does not represent “a direct threat.” 

“Nevertheless, we’re vigilant, and we’re keeping this issue firmly in our policy radar,” Jagdeo said in a press conference.

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Garcia Cano reported from Caracas, Venezuela. Salomon reported from Miami. Associated Press writers Bert Wilkinson in Georgetown, Guyana, and Joshua Goodman in Miami contributed to this report.

more in original source https://apnews.com/article/russia-military-warships-caribbean-cuba-venezuela-446f60a04a9e0639381ddf5ee084d2c3