In February, I noted that President Obama had not changed U.S. policy regarding Georgia or about Ukraine or Georgia joining NATO, so Russia was still interested in maintaining a Latin America presence in response. However, I speculated that since the missile shield policy would likely change, that might be enough to reduce Russia's military connections to the region.
That may well be wrong, as a senior Russian military officer says they will modernize Cuba's military, and warships may be on the way for a visit.
``Although maintaining a military presence in Latin America has logistical and financial problems for Russia, it will still force the United States to address the Russian presence in its backyard,'' wrote Stratfor, a private geopolitical analysis firm based in Austin, Texas.
This is a very important point. The cost for Russia is nontrivial, and I doubt Cuba has much to spend on Russian weapons to counteract that cost to any significant degree. But obviously the announced change in missile shield policy was not enough.