Russia’s Talk of Placing Troops in Cuba and Venezuela Seen as a Bluff; U.S. the Deciding Factor

If the United States continues its military activities on Russia’s doorstep, Russia has served notice that it will deploy troops to Cuba and Venezuela. This came to light in its dispute with the West over Ukraine and NATO’s expansion.

In an interview with Russian television network RTVI, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov “neither confirmed not exclude” that possibility but said, “It all depends on the action by our U.S. counterparts.”

Russia has placed the ball in the U.S. hands.

Ryabkov made mention of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warning that Moscow could take unspecified “military-technical measures” if the U.S. and its allies fail to heed its demands.

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan dismissed the statements about a possible Russian deployment to Cuba and Venezuela as “bluster in the public commentary.”

The West fears the Russian troop buildup near the Ukraine border is precursor to an invasion. Of course, Russia had denied any plans to attack Ukraine. Instead Russian delegates and NATO have agreed to leave the door open to further talks on arms control and other issues intended to reduce the potential for hostilities. Sullivan says talks with Russia have been “frank and direct” and that “we’re prepared to continue with diplomacy to advance security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic.”