Russia Threatens the Caribbean
As the world watches the 175,000 soldiers Russia has amassed on Ukraine’s border, Russian President Vladimir Putin is mulling military deployments on America’s border. On January 18, he called Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega to reaffirm Russia’s readiness to support Nicaragua’s economic development. Then he called Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on January 20 and Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel on January 24. Since the Cold War, Russia has maintained good relations with socialist leaders across Latin America. Still, many analysts view Putin’s recent calls as a means of reminding the United States that he can cause problems in the Caribbean if Washington pressures him over Ukraine.
Two weeks ago, Russia’s deputy foreign minister suggested that Putin might deploy soldiers to Cuba and Venezuela to pressure the U.S. into halting all North Atlantic Treaty Organization activity in Eastern Europe. “I don’t want to confirm anything, but I will not rule out anything,” Sergei Ryabkov told the Russian television network rtvi. “It depends on the actions of our American colleagues.”
U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan dismissed Ryabkov’s statements as “bluster in the public commentary.” Yet Cuba has spoken with Russia about reopening a Soviet-era espionage center in Lourdes. Venezuela has already given Russia permission to set up an air base in La Orchila. Suppose Russia wanted soldiers in Latin America. All it would need to do is take advantage of the friendly relations it has already established with Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. The fact that Joe Biden ignored the anti-Communist protest in Cuba last summer indicates that he will not intervene.
During U.S. President Donald Trump’s second year in office, National Security Advisor John Bolton warned that Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela had turned against the U.S. “In Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, we see the perils of poisonous ideologies left unchecked, and the dangers of domination and suppression,” he said. “This troika of tyranny, this triangle of terror stretching from Havana to Caracas to Managua, is the cause of immense human suffering, the impetus of enormous regional instability, and the genesis of a sordid cradle of communism in the Western Hemisphere.”
Russian arms exports to Cuba have been limited since the fall of the Soviet Union. Yet Putin has sold Mi-17 helicopters, Yak-130 fighter trainers, An-26 medium transport aircraft, tigr armored cars, T-72 tanks and ZU-23 antiaircraft guns to Nicaragua. He has also sold T-72 tanks, bmp-3 and btr-80 armored vehicles, Su-30 fighters, Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters to Venezuela. These sales were predicated on the idea that the “troika of tyranny” needed to be strengthened to support Russian ambitions.
“A hostile power in Cuba could fairly easily seal both the Straits of Florida and the Yucatán Channel, reducing the Gulf of Mexico to little more than a lake,” Peter Zeihan wrote in 2008. “In the Cold War, the Soviets established friendly relations with Nicaragua and arranged for a favorable political evolution on the Caribbean Island of Grenada. Like Cuba, these two locations are of dubious importance by themselves. But take them together—and add in a Soviet airbase at each location as well as in Cuba—and there is a triangle of Soviet airpower that can threaten access to the Panama Canal.”
Half of America’s seaborne trade passes through the Gulf of Mexico. Therefore, a hostile foreign power controlling the Caribbean Sea could cripple its economy by restricting its access to oceanic shipping.
Some 2,700 years ago, God inspired the Prophet Isaiah to write about a “mart of nations” that would form in the end time (Isaiah 23:3). Verse 1 shows that this trade bloc will be led by “Tyre,” “Tarshish” and “Chittim.”
In his booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains that Tyre refers to modern Europe, Tarshish refers to modern Japan, and Chittim refers to modern China. A related passage in Ezekiel 27 also mentions Tubal and Meshech (ancient names for the people who settled modern Russia) as part of this enormous trade bloc. “[T]he giants of Asia” will form a “brief alliance” with Europe, Mr. Flurry writes. “Should Europe, the resurrected Holy Roman Empire, find a way to take advantage—even for a moment—of key resources and strategic holdings of China, Russia, and Japan, it would have more than enough power to besiege the Anglo-Saxon nations and enslave them.”
The book of Deuteronomy provides more details about the besiegement of America. “The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand …. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee” (Deuteronomy 28:49, 52).
A “gate” is a passage of entrance or exit. When speaking nationally, a sea gate is a choke point like the Straits of Florida, the Yucatán Channel or the Panama Canal. God gave America these gates and many others, ensuring that it would become an economic and military superpower. But God also warned that if America did not obey Him, then these gates would be not only taken away but used against it. Today, this is exactly what is happening to America. Russia and China are attempting to seize control of the Caribbean and use the Panama Canal against the nation that constructed it!