Tag Archives: Cuba

Panamanian Official: North Korea ‘Paid Fine in Cash’ to Free Secret Arms Ship

Panamanian Official: North Korea ‘Paid Fine in Cash’ to Free Secret Arms Ship

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Panamaniain investigators inspect a Cuban MiG 21 found hidden on a North Korean merchant vessel on July 21, 2013. REUTERS Photo

Panamaniain investigators inspect a Cuban MiG 21 found hidden on a North Korean merchant vessel on July 21, 2013. REUTERS Photo

North Korean officials have settled up a fine set by Panamanian authorities incurred after a North Korean ship attempted to transit the Panama Canal with containers full of illicit — but badly dated — weapons from Cuba, canal officials said on Saturday. Read More

Opinion: The Danger of Neutral Warships Entering a Combat Zone

Opinion: The Danger of Neutral Warships Entering a Combat Zone

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Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52) perform small boat operations alongside the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG-107). US Navy Photo

Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52) perform small boat operations alongside the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG-107). US Navy Photo

The eastern Mediterranean, off the Syrian coast, presently is saturated with U.S. and Russian warships. The United States has deployed the destroyers USS Stout, Mahan, Ramage, Barry and Gravely, each armed with large numbers of Tomahawk land-attack missiles. The Russian navy announced that it has seven warships in the eastern Mediterranean and that it is sending three more warships—the cruiser Moskva, the destroyer Smetlivy, and the assault ship Nikolai Filchenkov. All of those warships are sailing relatively close to the Syrian civil war’s combat zone. Read More

Panama Finds Two Cuban MiGs on North Korean Ship

Panama Finds Two Cuban MiGs on North Korean Ship

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Panamaniain investigators inspect a Cuban MiG 21 found hidden on a North Korean merchant vessel on July 21, 2013. REUTERS Photo

Panamaniain investigators inspect a Cuban MiG 21 found hidden on a North Korean merchant vessel on July 21, 2013. REUTERS Photo

Panamanian officials have found two 1950s era MiG-21 fighters onboard a North Korean ship detained last week after authorities detained the ship after an initial discovery of components of a surface-to-air missile system originating from Cuba, government officials said on Sunday. Read More

Cuba Restores Memorial to USS Maine

Cuba Restores Memorial to USS Maine

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A period engraving of the original USS Maine monument in Havana, Cuba.

A period engraving of the original USS Maine monument in Havana, Cuba.

The government of Havana, Cuba recently restored a monument to the lost crew of the USS Maine celebrating Cuba-American relations following The Spanish American War, The Associated Press reported Friday.

The monument was originally erected in 1925, following the 1898 explosion of the Maine and the subsequent Spanish American War that resulted in Cuba’s independence from Spain.
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Soviet Perspective on the Cuban Missile Crisis from Nikita Khrushchev's Son

Soviet Perspective on the Cuban Missile Crisis from Nikita Khrushchev’s Son

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Sergei Khrushchev is the son of Nikita Khrushchev, the premier of the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He shared his impressions of that showdown from a Soviet perspective and the lessons for current and future leaders.

Sergei Khrushchev, Brown University Photo

Sergei Khrushchev, Brown University Photo

What you consider to be the largest American misconception about the Cuban Missile Crisis?

The largest misconception was the idea that America thought this crisis was about defending Cuba against possible invasion [or] some broader implications with relations to Germany or infiltration into South America . . . theories that have nothing to do with reality.

What would those realties be?

The reality is that after the Bay of Pigs Fidel Castro announced he officially joined the Soviet bloc. Through that [declaration] the obligation of the Soviets was to defend all their clients, all their allies because otherwise they would lose face . . . and your allies would not trust you. Cuba, after 1961, became for the Soviet Union the same as West Berlin to the United States—a small useless piece of land deep inside hostile territory. But if you don’t defend it, you will not be treated as a superpower. The United States was ready to use nuclear weapons to defend Berlin. The Soviet Union sent missiles to Cuba . . . as a powerful signal to the United States: Don’t invade Cuba.

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'Mister President, the Navy Will Not Let You Down'

‘Mister President, the Navy Will Not Let You Down’

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Naval History Magazine October, 2012
From manning quarantine lines to flying reconnaissance missions to preparing for an invasion, the U.S. Navy played instrumental roles during the Cuban Missile Crisis 50 years ago.

On a tense day in October 1962, the USS Allan M. Sumner(DD-692) was about 500 miles off the northern shore of Cuba, trailing a Soviet freighter. President John F. Kennedy, after learning that the Soviet Union was sending ballistic missiles to the island nation, had proclaimed a quarantine against ships carrying offensive arms there. The Cuban Missile Crisis had moved from the White House and the Kremlin to the sea, and suddenly the crisis was focused on the Sumner .

“I was in the wheelhouse,” Quartermaster Third Class Bob Bourassa remembered. “The freighter was about 1000 yds off our port side.” When the transport failed to respond to an order to stop, Commander William J. Flynn, captain of the Sumner , sent a handwritten message down to the radio shack “and after the first message was returned to him, he instructed the guns to be turned toward the freighter.” After a while, Commander Flynn sent down a second message. Before it was answered, “the freighter came to a stop . . . backed down for some time, stopped and then turned around and sailed eastward.” 1

That was the Navy on the quarantine line—ships ready for action and a command system that reached from the Pentagon and President Kennedy to destroyer captains and their crews. Before the crisis ended, the Navy would have more than 140 ships in the Caribbean and over 350 combat aircraft at area airfields. They were responding to a Cold War confrontation that had begun in September 1960 when the Soviet freighter Atkarsk arrived at Nikolaev, the Black Sea port used for exporting weapons and military equipment from the Soviet Union.

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Russian Bases in Vietnam or Cuba? Don't Panic

Russian Bases in Vietnam or Cuba? Don’t Panic

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russ_CNO_0The sprawling Russian defense apparatus has some of the world’s biggest braggarts. You don’t need to look very hard to find examples in the Russian defense ministry or the military-industrial complex stating the impossible. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, for example, said that by 2013 “production capacity [at Russian shipyards] will allow us to build six submarines and an aircraft carrier every year.” Serious Western analysts of Russian military procurement reacted with derision. Not only does the Russian Federation currently not have any shipyards large enough to build a carrier, they noted, the shipyard that built earlier Soviet carriers is in the Ukraine, and the Russian navy doesn’t even have a finalized design that would allow construction of a carrier to begin. Rogozin’s statement was so self-evidently fraudulent that he was forced to retract it.

The Russians have an extensive and well-documented history of making incredibly bold and aggressive statements only to quietly retract those statements (with much less fanfare) a few days later.

The latest tempest in a teapot got started on 27 July when VADM Victor Chirkov, the commander in chief of the Russian navy, made the following remarks in an interview with RIA Novosti:

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