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How Russia ‘buys’ the silence of Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia

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Some Latin American countries chose not to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine due to its ideological and economic ties with Moscow, among them are precisely those that stand out for their anti-democratic practices such as Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela. We review the figures behind the silence in this broadcast.

The UN General Assembly held an emergency meeting on March 2 in New York and passed a resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, demanding that President Vladimir Putin immediately stop hostilities. The meeting was convened after the previous week, the Russian representation before the United Nations Organization blocked a similar statement in the UN Security Council in its capacity as a permanent member of it.

The resolution of the Assembly does not have legal ties but it does have political weight. The condemnation of Vladimir Putin’s actions was almost unanimous. Almostsince several countries abstained or voted against, including those in Latin America that have economic and/or ideological ties with Moscow.

Some Latin American countries chose not to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine due to its ideological and economic ties with Moscow, among them are precisely those that stand out for their anti-democratic practices such as Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela. © France 24

‘The axis of evil’

The Russian president has been a key ally of Nicolás Maduro and has helped him stay in power in Venezuela through millionaire loans, military exercises and vaccine donations.

In 2019, the Chavista promised to pay 532 million dollars to Moscow until 2022 and 684 million between 2023 and 2026.

In the case of Cuba, the explanation comes from the 2.3 billion dollars that the Kremlin gave to Havana to finance energy and transportation projects as well as to guarantee the supply of products to the island, according to the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina. .

Russian support for Cuba
Russian support for Cuba © France 24

Russia has also granted millionaire loans to President Daniel Ortega for the expansion of the Managua airport and has donated buses to renew capital transportation. However, the greatest military cooperation occurs through donations of discarded tanks.

Moscow donates artillery to the government of Daniel Ortega.
Moscow donates artillery to the government of Daniel Ortega. © France 24

As for Bolivia, former President Evo Morales had a very close relationship with Putin and a very distant relationship with the White House and signed numerous cooperation agreements in commercial, energy and military matters that were inherited by the current president, Luis Arce.

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In the case of El Salvador, Russia does not have very strong trade links. But the decision to refrain from condemning the invasion of Ukraine reflects, for some sectors, the same lack of defense of democratic values ​​by President Nayib Bukele, whose concentration of power worries human rights organizations.

Other nations such as Brazil and Mexico called for a negotiated solution to the crisis, without directly condemning the Russian invasion. While Colombia, Chile and Argentina have called for the immediate cessation of hostilities.

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