Raúl also stated, with reference to the cooperative relation between the Soviet Union and Cuba during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, that “the decisive aid of the USSR . . . was a generous aid, without which, we are able to affirm, the Revolution would not have been able to endure.”
During the visit of the Russian President, the Russian and Cuban governments signed ten documents that establish instruments of cooperation. These include an agreement to study the conditions of the petroleum deposits and oil wells in Cuban territory, in order to maximize the process of extraction and to increase efficiency. They include a Russian commitment to construct four electric generating units in Cuba and to cooperate in the modernization and construction of hydroelectric energy installations. And they contain a program of cooperation in culture and the arts, including music, dance, visual arts, and sculpture, and including as well museums and libraries.
In addition, Putin announced the cancellation 90% of the Cuban debt with Russia, which had emerged during the time of the Soviet Union, and which had reached 35 billion dollars. The remaining 10% will be reinvested by Russia in Cuba in programs of cooperation that will continue until 2020. Raúl described the cancellation of the debt as “another and recent example of the great and clear generosity of the Russian people toward Cuba.”
During the visit, Putin met with Fidel Castro. They discussed the historic ties between the two nations and peoples as well as the growing commercial and economic interchange between the two nations in the context of the present international situation. In addition, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution explained the results of Cuban scientific studies that are creating real possibilities for increased food production in countries with limited resources that confront threats derived from Climate Change.
Putin’s visit to Cuba is the first stop in a four-nation tour that includes Nicaragua, Argentina and Brazil, where he will attend a summit of the countries of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). The visit by the President of the Russian Federation to Latin America is an indication of an emerging network of political alliances and economic and cultural relations, which includes the countries of BRICS; the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC; see “The Declaration of Havana 2014” 3/14/2014); the relations of Russia as well as China with CELAC and with Latin American nations; the emerging relationship between Russia and China; and the relations of Russia and Latin America with the Islamic Republic of Iran. This alternative network consists of the formerly colonized nations of the Third World plus China and Russia, and it seeks to develop relations among nations that are mutually beneficial. It represents a potential and real alternative to the international projection of the United States and Western Europe, which seeks, in the context of a structural crisis of the world-system, to preserve the neocolonial core-peripheral relation with the nations of the South. We have entered a new stage in international relations, in which the unsustainable neocolonial world-system is being challenged, and an alternative more just and democratic world-system is being constructed from below (see “A change of epoch?” 3/18/2014; and “The alternative world system from below” 4/15/2014).
Key words: Third World, revolution, colonialism, neocolonialism, imperialism, democracy, national liberation, sovereignty, self-determination, socialism, Marxism, Leninism, Cuba, Latin America, world-system, world-economy, development, underdevelopment, colonial, neocolonial, blog Third World perspective, Russia