Saturday, February 21, 2009

Russian trade with Latin America

Boz mentioned a recent discussion by a Chinese official regarding China's ideological affinity (or lack thereof) with the Latin American left. The Russians are also talking about pragmatism versus ideology, as they claim a record $15 billion in trade with Latin America last year, up tenfold since 1992.

While developing relations with Latin American countries, Russia “proceeds not from ideology, but from mutual advantage and pragmatism,” he said, adding, “We, certainly, take into account mutual interest in the enhancement of bilateral relations.”

“The division of Latin American leaders into ‘the right’ or ‘the left’ is quite theoretical and frequently being misused for direct political pressure with global information space cliches,” the minister said.

“Closer contacts with the countries of the continent are not directed against third countries,” Lavrov said.

“Our partners in the US and in the leading West European countries understand this,” he said, adding, “They have repeated many times that they do not consider more intensive relations between Russia and Latin American countries as a threat to their interests.”

I think this is now reaching conventional wisdom, unless something unexpected happens. Given Raúl Castro's visit to Moscow last month, there is lingering affection for the Cuban government that at least originally was rooted in ideology (and with China remains that way). I wonder, though, whether that will survive the Castro brothers.

2 comments:

Justin Delacour 6:32 PM  

Given Raúl Castro's visit to Moscow last month, there is lingering affection for the Cuban government that at least originally was rooted in ideology (and with China remains that way). I wonder, though, whether that will survive the Castro brothers.

In the event that the Cuban Communist Party were to go on governing the island nation, I'm not sure how the passing of the Castro brothers would be relevant to the question of whether an ideological affinity with Russia and China would remain.

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