Russia is signaling that it might want another crack at the Cold War. Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhiknaren, a Russian Air Force Chief, has said that the Russian Air Force is considering a measure to allow Cuba and Venezuela to house some strategic bombers. While the Kremlin has said that as of now the move is purely hypothetical, the Interfax News Agency is reporting that Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's dictator, has granted Russia permission to house strategic bombers on an island just off the coast of Venezuela.
Interfax is reporting that Zhikharen said "[Chavez] offered a whole island with an airdome, which we can use as a temporary base for strategic bombers. If there is corresponding political decision, then the use of the island by the Russian military is possible."
In regards to Cuba, there has been no formal announcement of storage of bombers, but Cuba and Russia have always been strong political allies, and considering that Cuba used to let the Russians land planes on thier island all the time during the Cold War days it is not too much of a stretch to assume that they would not be opposed to storing a few bombers for Mother Russia.
For thier part in this mess, the Obama Administration has been trying to warm the cooling relations between the United States and Russia. Last year, the summer invasion by Russia during the Olympics and the US position on missile defenses being stationed in Poland, strained the relations of the US and Russia to the worst point they had been in since the 80s.
While Russia has signaled that it would be receptive to a warmer relation with Washington, these rumors of bomber relocation would lend one to believe that Russia thinks the US overextended and weak, and is looking to test the spine of the new Commander-in-Chief while solidifying its foothold and influence in the Americas.
Personally, while the prospect of a new Cold War blossoming excites me just a little, I hope that Obama remembers the words of General Patton when dealing with the Russians.
"Never trust the Hun."