Russian Bombers Could Be Deployed to Cuba In Response To Missile Shield
Russian bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons could be deployed to Cuba in response to U.S. plans to install a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, a Russian newspaper reported Monday, citing an unnamed senior Russian air force official.
The report in Izvestia, which could not be confirmed, prompted memories of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when the United States and the Soviet Union came to the brink of nuclear war after Nikita Khrushchev put nuclear missiles on the Caribbean island. The weapons were eventually withdrawn in an apparent Soviet climb-down, but President John F. Kennedy also secretly agreed to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey.
A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry declined to comment on the report Monday, but did not deny it. Izvestia is often a forum for strategic leaks by Kremlin and other officials.
“While they are deploying the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, our strategic bombers will already be landing in Cuba,” Izvestia quoted the source as saying.
Hugo Chávez has also offered Putin the possibility of building military bases inside Venezuela.