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Cuba prepares for Venezuela energy disruptions | StratRisks

Cuba prepares for Venezuela energy disruptions | StratRisks.

Source: Miami Herald
Cuba prepares for Venezuela disruptions

As political violence in Venezuela rolls on, Cubans say they are hearing reports that Havana is making energy or military preparations for a possible disruption of its tight alliance with the South American nation.

Cuba’s stagnant economy depends overwhelmingly on Venezuelan subsidies estimated at well over $6 billion a year — even more than the former Soviet Union once provided to the Caribbean island.

“If something ugly happens in Venezuela, we are fried like in the Special Period,” said Havana teacher Yadiel Ramirez.

The end of Soviet subsidies in 1991 plunged Cuba into a brutal crisis, shrinking the economy by 33 percent and sparking widespread hunger.

Former top Cuban government economist Jesús “Marzo” Fernandez said close Cuban friends working in Venezuela for that country’s state-owned PDVSA oil company have told him Havana has prepared for a sudden stop in Venezuelan oil imports.

The friends said all oil storage facilities on the island, including those set aside for military, government and strategic reserves, were full to the top as of March 4, Fernandez said. Caracas sends Cuba abour 115,000 barrels per day, two-thirds of its consumption.

“They are preparing? No. They are prepared,” added Fernandez, who now lives in Miami. “They won’t be surprised. The Cubans work with a long-distance view.”

Most analysts remain skeptical of claims by the Venezuelan opposition of Cuban troops arriving in the country in recent weeks to defend President Nicolas Maduro and quell the anti-government protests that have left 25 dead and more than 300 injured.

Opposition activists have published long-distance photos of unidentified soldiers landing in a military airport, and reports of people with Cuban accents beating up anti-Maduro protesters.

Read More @ Source

Cuba prepares for Venezuela energy disruptions | StratRisks

Cuba prepares for Venezuela energy disruptions | StratRisks.

Source: Miami Herald
Cuba prepares for Venezuela disruptions

As political violence in Venezuela rolls on, Cubans say they are hearing reports that Havana is making energy or military preparations for a possible disruption of its tight alliance with the South American nation.

Cuba’s stagnant economy depends overwhelmingly on Venezuelan subsidies estimated at well over $6 billion a year — even more than the former Soviet Union once provided to the Caribbean island.

“If something ugly happens in Venezuela, we are fried like in the Special Period,” said Havana teacher Yadiel Ramirez.

The end of Soviet subsidies in 1991 plunged Cuba into a brutal crisis, shrinking the economy by 33 percent and sparking widespread hunger.

Former top Cuban government economist Jesús “Marzo” Fernandez said close Cuban friends working in Venezuela for that country’s state-owned PDVSA oil company have told him Havana has prepared for a sudden stop in Venezuelan oil imports.

The friends said all oil storage facilities on the island, including those set aside for military, government and strategic reserves, were full to the top as of March 4, Fernandez said. Caracas sends Cuba abour 115,000 barrels per day, two-thirds of its consumption.

“They are preparing? No. They are prepared,” added Fernandez, who now lives in Miami. “They won’t be surprised. The Cubans work with a long-distance view.”

Most analysts remain skeptical of claims by the Venezuelan opposition of Cuban troops arriving in the country in recent weeks to defend President Nicolas Maduro and quell the anti-government protests that have left 25 dead and more than 300 injured.

Opposition activists have published long-distance photos of unidentified soldiers landing in a military airport, and reports of people with Cuban accents beating up anti-Maduro protesters.

Read More @ Source

Two Russian Warships Enter Black Sea Through Bosphorus; Another Docks In Cuba | Zero Hedge

Two Russian Warships Enter Black Sea Through Bosphorus; Another Docks In Cuba | Zero Hedge.

Russia may be awaiting a diplomatic resolution of the Ukraine crisis, but we wouldn’t hold our breath especially with the deposed president Yanukovich set to conduct a press conference tomorrow from Russia’s Rostov-on-Don at 5pm local time, where we hardly anticipate a scaling back of the escalation in what is sure to not be an abdication from power. Instead, Putin continues to prepare for the worst and is openly signalling to the West that if he has to fight to regain influence in the Ukraine, he will, as a top Kremlin politician warned last week. As such it was not surprising to read that two Russian warships, the Minsk and the Kaliningrad which last week were sent out on deployment around Syria, crossed back into the Black Sea, most likely in direction Sevastopol, as the build up of Russian forces in the Crimea continues.

From Bosphorus Nabal News:

Today, two Ropucha class landing ship from Russian Navy passed through Bosphorus returning from their Syrian deployment. As the political crisis in Ukraine particular in Crimea is increasing it is possible that Russian Navy wanted these valuable assets closer to home.

 

kaliningrad-774x320

minsk

And in other more perplexing news, AFP reported that a Russian warship was docked in Havana Wednesday, without explanation from Communist Cuba or its state media. “The Viktor Leonov CCB-175 boat, measuring 91.5 meters (300 feet) long and 14.5 meters wide, was docked at the port of Havana’s cruise ship area, near the Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

The Vishnya, or Meridian-class intelligence ship, which has a crew of around 200, went into service in the Black Sea in 1988 before it was transferred seven years later to the northern fleet, Russian media sources said.

Neither Cuban authorities nor state media have mentioned the ship’s visit, unlike on previous tours by Russian warships.

The former Soviet Union was Cuba’s sponsor state through three decades of Cold War. After a period of some distancing under former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, the countries renewed their political, economic and military cooperation.

The ship is reportedly armed with 30mm guns and anti-aircraft missiles.

The Mail adds that The intelligence vessel bristles with electronic eavesdropping equipment and weaponry, including AK-630 rapid-fire cannons and surface-to-air missiles.

Bringing back memories: Tourists in a old American car pass by the Russian Viktor Leonov spy ship that docked in Havana, Cuba, on Wednesday

Why is Russia planting a spy ship in the US backyard? It might have something to do with John Kerry’s earlier admonition that the US is now behaving like a “poor nation” – maybe Russia decided to test just how poor?

North Korea ‘executes slain general’s family’ – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

North Korea ‘executes slain general’s family’ – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English.

Jang was a powerful general in the military before his execution in December [Reuters]
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has ordered the execution of his uncle’s entire family, including his children and relatives serving as ambassadors to Cuba and Malaysia, according to South Korea’s state news agency, Yonhap.Jang Song-thaek, a once powerful North Korean military general, was executed last month as divisions between him and his nephew Kim widened.

All relatives of Jang have been put to death, including even children.Unnamed source for Yonhap.

Kim referred to Jang as “worse than a dog” and “human scum” in his announcement of his execution, which he said was for treachery and betreyal. Pictures showed Jang being led from his office by state security.

“Extensive executions have been carried out for relatives of Jang Song-thaek,” an anonymous source said to Yonhap in a report published on Sunday. “All relatives of Jang have been put to death, including even children.”

The executed relatives include Jang’s sister Kye-sun, her husband and ambassador to Cuba, Jon Yong-jin, the ambassador to Malaysia, Jang Yong-chol, who is Jang’s nephew, as well as his two sons, the sources said.

The two ambassadors were recalled to Pyongyang in early December. The sons, daughters and grandchildren of Jang’s two brothers were all executed, the sources told Yonhap.

One source told Yonhap that some relatives were dragged out of their houses and shot in front of a crowd.

South Korea’s state news agency did not specify when they were killed. The article does not mention any specific sources and the agency is known for its anti-North Korean bias.

Snowden Lands In Moscow; Next Rumored Stops: Cuba, And Finally Venezuela | Zero Hedge

Snowden Lands In Moscow; Next Rumored Stops: Cuba, And Finally Venezuela | Zero Hedge.

 

Cuba says inclusion on U.S. terrorist list ‘shameful’ | Top News | Reuters

Cuba says inclusion on U.S. terrorist list ‘shameful’ | Top News | Reuters.

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