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Russia Expanding Its Influence in Latin America - The Gatestone Institute - 30.09.22

by Judith Bergman a columnist, lawyer and political analyst, who is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Of particular concern is that Russia has not only been strengthening its relations with old Latin American partners -- such as Cuba and Nicaragua, hailing back to the Cold War, and with Venezuela -- but that it is now forging new and stronger relationships with countries that were traditionally oriented towards the US, such as Brazil and Argentina.

"Recent demonstrations of Russia's hostile intent toward the U.S. and our partners in the Western Hemisphere include Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov's January 2022 suggestion that Russia might deploy military forces to Venezuela or Cuba... and Nicaragua's June 2022 re-authorization for limited numbers of Russian troops and equipment to enter the country for training missions and other forms of support." —

Dr. Evan Ellis, research professor of Latin American studies at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute and senior associate at the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, July 20, 2022.

Russia's actions in Latin America have been significantly deteriorating the security situation there, as well as enabling China to gain influence.

In June, Putin and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro confirmed their intention to strengthen their strategic partnership.

"In 2020, Russia Today (RT)'s Spanish-language media outlets more than doubled their social media followers from 7 million to over 18 million. These disinformation campaigns are just one part of Russia's broader efforts to influence national elections throughout the region this year.

Russia's relationship with its key regional partners— Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua—allow Moscow to expand its air and sea access to project military power throughout the region." — General Laura Richardson, Commander of U.S. Southern Command, testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, March 8, 2022.

"Agreements with Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Brazil allow Russian warships to make port calls on short notice. Russia doubled its naval deployments in this region, increasing from five (2008-2014), to 11 (2015- 2020).

Russia seeks inroads in the hemisphere by providing security training through $2.3 billion in weapons and military equipment sales in the last 10 years, to include direct sales to Venezuela." — Gen. Laura Richardson, testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, March 8, 2022.

While 21 Latin American and Caribbean countries have signed onto China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Biden's Build Back Better World, launched in June 2021 to counter China, has not even taken off yet. Unlike the BRI, financed by the People's Republic of China, Build Back Better has to rely on private investors' willingness to take risks.

So far, Biden has nothing to show... while Russia and China continue to consolidate their gains.

For the full article in pdf, please click here:

Russia Expanding Its Influence in Latin America - by Judith Bergman for the Gatestone Inst
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Judith Bergman, a columnist, lawyer and political analyst, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

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Pictured: Venezuelan and Russian military personnel at a ceremony for the arrival of two Russian Air Force Tu-160 strategic bombers in Venezuela, on December 10, 2018. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

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