The Russians are coming…to Nicaragua?
Put Bruce Springsteen in your 1985 Ford Taurus CD because the 1980’s are back!
Remember Central America and communist meddling in El Salvador and Nicaragua? Well, we are not sure what Mr. Putin is doing in Nicaragua these days. We can safely assume that he is not promoting U.S. interests.
According to Joshua Partlow, visitors to Guatemala are speaking Russian again:
On the rim of a volcano with a clear view of the U.S. Embassy, landscapers are applying the final touches to a mysterious new Russian compound.
Behind the concrete walls and barbed wire, a visitor can see red-and-blue buildings, manicured lawns, antennas and globe-shaped devices.
The Nicaraguan government says it’s simply a tracking site of the Russian version of a GPS satellite system.
But is it also an intelligence base intended to surveil the Americans?
“I have no idea,” said a woman who works for the Nicaraguan telecom agency stationed at the site. “They are Russian, and they speak Russian, and they carry around Russian apparatuses.”
Three decades after this tiny Central American nation became the prize in a Cold War battle with Washington, Russia is once again planting its flag in Nicaragua.
Over the past two years, the Russian government has added muscle to its security partnership here, selling tanks and weapons, sending troops, and building facilities intended to train Central American forces to fight drug trafficking.
The Russian surge appears to be part of the Kremlin’s expansionist foreign policy. In other parts of the world, President Vladimir Putin’s administration has deployed fighter planes to help Syria’s war-battered government and stepped up peace efforts in Afghanistan, in addition to annexing the Crimean Peninsula and supporting separatists in Ukraine.
Well, so what are these Russians up to?
Let’s start by saying that we are watching one of the many examples of Mr. Putin feeling a vacuum created by the U.S. Under President Obama, Latin America was completely overlooked unless we were talking about illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. border.
Furthermore, Mr. Putin is simply hoping to add a piece to his intelligence apparatus. Why not put an antenna in Nicaragua if the U.S. looks the other way?
What do we do? We don’t have to go to war over Nicaragua but we can remind the Russians that this is our neighborhood and they are not welcome.
Secondly, we can make it very clear to the government in Managua that a Russian antenna in their country is a very bad idea that will have consequences.
From Syria to Ukraine, Mr. Putin discovered that the U.S. under President Obama was into “hope and change” rather than defending our interests. Nicaragua is a perfect opportunity to show the Russians that the new sheriff in the U.S. won’t look the other way.
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