Russia’s Putin arrives in Cuba

Will meet with Raul and Fidel Castro

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived Friday morning to Havana.
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived Friday morning to Havana.  Photo: cubadebate.cu

HAVANA TIMES — Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Cuba for a one-day visit on Friday during which he will meet with President Raul and Fidel Castro, reported dpa news.

Putin arrived in Havana around 5:30 am local time, according to images shown on Cuban state television. The Russian president was welcomed at the airport by Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel and other government officials.

The Kremlin leader will meet in the coming hours with President Raul Castro, according to the official agenda. Putin will be on the island for one day before continuing his tour of Latin America with visits to Argentina and Brazil including the BRICS nation summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

Putin’s trip to the island, a longtime strategic ally of the Soviet Union in the Cold War, has aroused interest because it comes amid tensions between Russia and Western countries over the crisis in the Ukraine.

The Russian president will also meet informally in Havana with former President Fidel Castro, 87, who maintains a keen interest in world affairs, the Russian media reported.

Castro, who left office in 2006 after a serious illness, has made scant appearances in recent times, usually to receive foreign visitors at his home in Havana, where photos ops take place for the Cuban media.

In the morning the Russian leader is scheduled to place wreaths at the mausoleum of the Soviet Internationalist Soldier and the monument to Cuban national hero Jose Marti, followed by the official talks with Raul Castro.

The Russian president stated before traveling to Havana that cooperation with Latin America is “key” and offers many “prospects” to Moscow. “We are grateful to the Latin Americans for their support in our international initiatives,” he said in an interview with the Cuban agency Prensa Latina.

A week before the trip, the Russian parliament approved the cancellation of 90% of the old debt of 35 billion dollar that Cuba had with the Soviet Union. Havana will have to repay the remaining 3.5 billion over ten years, which will be further deposited into a special fund for Russian investment in the Cuban economy.

Putin will continue his tour in Argentina on Saturday, where he will meet with his counterpart Cristina Fernandez. The Russian president will then travel to Brazil, where he will attend Sunday’s World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina in Rio de Janeiro.

The tour of the region will end with Putin’s participation in the summit of the BRICS group on July 15 and 16 in Fortaleza and Brasilia.


8 thoughts on “Russia’s Putin arrives in Cuba

  • July 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm
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    First guess: Is that the origin of the expression: ‘What a cheek’ ?
    Second guess: For golfers excitement: ‘A hole in one’ ?
    Third guess: ‘My tiny toe is frozen” ?
    Fourth guess: “My pen is run out of ink’ ?

  • July 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm
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    If that other Argentine footballer Maradona has a tattoo of Fidel on his leg and one of Che on his arm, where do you suppose his tattoo of Raul sits?

  • July 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm
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    Thanks for the correction Griffin. My mind was deducting 3 from 100. Argentina should concentrate politically upon its economy and paying long overdue debts. Messi is a much greater asset than President Mrs. Kirchner.

  • July 14, 2014 at 10:00 am
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    A minor correction:

    In the Falkland Island referendum, 99.8% voted to stay part of the UK. Out of the 1,518 ballots cast, only three voters were against keeping the islands’ current status. The three “No” votes were in favour of complete independence. Nobody in the Falkland Islands supported annexation by Argentina.

  • July 14, 2014 at 9:54 am
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    The US occupied Ukraine? When did this happen? Are you making a joke, or are you delusional?

  • July 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm
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    Even Vladamir Putin isn’t stupid enough to put missiles in Cuba – remember Kruschev trying and then removing them! The US has never occupied Ukraine, get your facts straight! It is Russia that has supplied mercenaries to create strife in Ukraine – a democratic country with a democratically elected President. Putin’s excuse for interferring in the affairs of a sovereign state was that some of the people in that part of the country spoke Russian. Just imagine if other countries introduced similar views. Think of all the English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and other countries using those languages. In Putin’s case he then supports President Mrs. Kirchner’s wish to copy his actions in Crimea and claim the English speaking Falkland Islands where 97% of the population voted in the 2013 referendum to remain British.
    There never were any bustards in the USA, the large running bird being found only in the old world – at places similar to the Austro-Hungarian plain, That area around the Neusiedler See was divided from 1946 – 1989 by the socialist Iron Curtain which although designed to keep the peoples of the enslaved nations incarcerated had less success with the bustards!

  • July 13, 2014 at 8:12 am
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    Finally US bustards will feel missiles so close, like they created the same feeling for Russian people,when US occupied Ukraine…

  • July 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm
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    For Putin who had no chance of recuperating the $35 billion owed to the USSR by the Castro regime, it is a small price to pay for establishing a naval base in Cuba from which he can meddle with Latin America.

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