Russia makes inroads into Latin America

Posted on September 23, 2016 • Filed under: Europe, Latin America News, Police/Military Activity

Ciccarillo, Simon Gaetano, “The Russia-Latin America Nexus: Realism in the 21st Century” (2016).Student Scholarship & CreativeW

Recent Events in Latin America
Within the past 15 years, the Russian government has made inroads to Latin
America, highlighting the nature of the depth of the relationship between the
two. Under the Putin and Medvedev Administrations, high-level visits by officials
of the Russian government have emphasized the continued and growing interest
of Russia to be active in the sphere of Latin America across a range of topics.
Presidents Putin and Medvedev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Defense
Minister Sergei Shoigu have all made official trips to various Latin American
countries from 2000 to 2015 to discuss political and historical ties between Russia
and various countries in the region, joint defense and military operations in Latin America, and the strengthening and expanding of trade and mutual economic
development through investment projects.


Discussions over counter-narcotic
naval exercises in the Caribbean, potential Russian naval bases, and increased
arms deals to modernize Latin American militaries all highlight Russian activism
by high-ranking officials and their desires.
Politically, Russia has developed ties with the previously mentioned core of
Latin American allies: Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba; the
group of leftist governments whose policies are founded on anti-Americanism,
exacerbation with economic or social inequalities, and populist forms of
socialism. Beyond this group, “In the Latin American countries with right-wing
governments, new ties and mutual interest have been established.”
These right-
wing governments include the countries of Mexico, Peru, and Colombia, which
are traditionally strong allies of the United States politically and economically.
Within the past five to ten years, however, such countries have also been
developing economic ties with Russia to begin new infrastructural projects,
energy exploration (for oil and natural gas), and increased arms and food deals.
Economic deals highlight the realist approach of Russia and most Latin American
countries, regardless of political orientation, since strong economic ties emphasize
the commitment to prosperity and a multipolar world desired by both regions.
Before 2008, Russia’s activism in Latin America was not seen as particularly
problematic… Read Paper

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