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Pay-back time, karma, whatever you like to call it, Washington and the Pentagon are horrified. For the first time in Latin American History, Russian military forces are to be deployed to the Central American nation of Nicaragua.
Nicaragua is not only one of the largest countries in Central America, the nation has ports and a military presence on both its Atlantic and Pacific seaboards.
The possible Washington DC response is enshrined in the two-century-old Monroe Doctrine that bars the door from any European power encroaching on the American continents and that declares ‘any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere’ to be ‘dangerous to our peace and safety.’
It promises that any alliance between a European nation and a nation in the Western hemisphere would be seen as ‘the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.’
However, the question is asked, ‘can Washington, already military stretched with its arsenals being emptied fast by re-arming both the US, European Union and Ukraine, and the debacle of Syria, Afghanistan and Iran suffer another drain on its military resources?
The new agreement between Russia and Nicaragua, according to which Moscow will be able to send its troops to this country, should be seen as an alarm in the night, warning both the democracies in Latin America and the United States itself, writes The Hill. As the newspaper notes, while strengthening its influence around the world, Moscow adheres to approximately one pattern and the United States should rethink its policy when it comes to a confrontation between the great powers in a number of regions.
Ominously for the depleted Western alliance, Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a meeting with the President of the African Union, the leader of Senegal, Maki Sall, said that relations between Russia and African countries are at a new stage of development.
The announcement of this agreement coincided with the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. This move appears to be about Moscow taking advantage of Washington’s embarrassment when many important Latin American nations, including Mexico, refused an invitation to go to the shindig; the Summit of the Americas held in Los Angeles.
This agreement between Russia and Nicaragua is important. ‘The signing will mark the first transfer of Russian troops to Central America in significant numbers, which is important, as it could potentially serve as the basis for a longer Russian military presence in Nicaragua and beyond,’ The Hill believes.
The agreement provides for the dispatch of Russian troops to Nicaragua for instructor activities, law enforcement and response to humanitarian disasters. At the same time, Russia will send contingents there every six months to develop cooperation in the above-mentioned areas, including the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking.
Nicaragua will also allow aircraft and ships from Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, El Salvador and the United States to visit its ports. According to the publication, the last point deserves special attention.
Although Washington is unlikely to exercise this right, Cuba and Venezuela, as well as some other countries, may rely on it to some extent, and this trend will be the first potential step toward regular unification of the military forces of Moscow’s clients and its friends in the region.
In addition, based on past experience, it is possible that Russia will further conclude an agreement on the deployment of Russian ships there on a permanent basis, especially considering that it already has naval bases in Syria and Sudan.
The Washington-sponsored Colombian defence minister recently accused Russia and Iran of providing military aid to Venezuela, which is then used to support left-wing guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). In addition, thanks to its presence in the region, Moscow can turn Nicaragua or other states into centres for intelligence gathering.
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And finally, as mentioned above, Russia seeks to gain leverage over the governments of developing countries, whether in Asia, Africa or Latin America, along roughly the same pattern: energy deals, providing services in the field of information warfare as well as selling weapons and sending instructors.
‘And this alarm should draw attention to the rethinking of our policies in these points of confrontation between the great powers, which are becoming more and more important and heated,’ concludes The Hill.
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