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New Priorities of Cuban Foreign Policy and Prospects of Russia-Cuba Relations

12.05.2016

MOSCOW, MAY 13, 2016. PIR PRESS  – “Raúl Castro does not lose any possibility of criticizing American foreign policy towards Russia, the enlargement of NATO and the sanctions against Russia. The [Cuban] mentality of being principal may be too rigid, but people who are friends of Cuba can rely on Cuba” –  Santiago Pérez Benítez, Researcher of the Research Centre for International Policy.

On April 28, 2016, PIR Center held a Midweek Brainstorming Session on “New priorities of Cuban foreign policy and prospects of Russia-Cuba relations”. Researcher of the Research Centre for International Policy (Havana, Cuba) Santiago Pérez Benítez gave a keynote speech.

Nina Belyakova, Researcher of the Institute of Contemporary International Studies at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Brilev, President of the Bering-Bellingshausen Institute for the Americas, Olga Mostinskaya, Editor-in-Chief of Security Index journal, Vladimir Orlov, PIR Center Special Advisor and Head of the Center for Global Trends and International Organizations at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Nikolay Sofinsky, Deputy Director of the Latin American Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Albert Zulkharneev, Director of PIR Center and PIR Center research fellows also took part in the seminar.

Santiago Perez Benitez provided a comprehensive overview of the Cuban foreign policy in the light of normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations. The expert explained the reasons for the beginning of a new stage in relations between the U.S. and Cuba, Havana and Washington's expectations from each other, achievements and prospects of U.S.-Cuban cooperation.

The expert also described the views of the of the U.S. and Cuban governments on the new stage of bilateral contacts. “The Cubans go from the point that they have won, that they have been resisting for 50 years and the Americans in the end have to change. Obama publically said that his policy had failed. And now the Americans want to change their methods, they don’t want to change their objectives – they are following a path of regime change” – pointed out Santiago Perez Benitez.

The researcher rejected the idea of the negative consequences that the normalization of relations between the US and Cuba can bring to Russia-Cuba cooperation. “Raúl Castro does not lose any possibility of criticizing American foreign policy towards Russia, the enlargement of NATO and the sanctions against Russia. The [Cuban] mentality of being principal may be too rigid, but people who are friends of Cuba can rely on Cuba” – said the expert.

President of the Bering-Bellingshausen Institute for the Americas, member of the Security Index Editorial Board Sergei Brilev made some observations on the Cuban policy. According to the expert, the Miami Cubans are interested in normalizing relations with Cuba, but the island's citizens are still looking with apprehension at the Cubans that live in the United States.

On May 12 Vladimir Orlov met with Scientific Advisor of the Cuban State Council, Dr. Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart. They discussed the state of Russia-Cuba relations, scientific and technological cooperation in various fields, such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, Internet and information security. PIR Press will report on the results of the meeting later.

For all questions and comments regarding PIR Center Midweek brainstorming Sessions, please contact projects coordinator Alena Makhukova by phone: +7 (495) 987-19-15 or by email: makhukova at pircenter.org.

 


   

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