Stratfor: can Latin America be the restart of the cold war?

Stratfor: может ли в Латинской Америке произойти перезапуск холодной войны?

South America fire again. In recent months a wave of anti-government protests gripped the streets of Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Colombia. Of course, for the region, the chaos is not news. From 1960-ies until the beginning of 1990-ies he was a battle of the cold war that were held there by the hands of terrorist and rebel groups. However, the current events that I would call “Latin American “cold war 2.0”, are not the result of armed puppet organizations, and the consequences of social unrest, which Moscow has cleverly used against Western structures of power in the region.Overall, given the fact that threats to Russia’s periphery now look more frightening than ever, we can say that the cold war never ended. However, regardless of whether the current activity of Russia in Latin America’s second cold war or just a relapse, it is obvious that many of the former actors are now actively destabilisateur the situation on the outskirts of Washington – and, mostly, the motives they have also remain the same.The Soviet legacy in Latin AmericaAiming to create a world Communist utopia, the Soviet Union was engaged in “export of revolution” and tried to “liberate” workers from around the world. However, when the United States and its allies began to work together to contain Communist expansion, the Soviet Union began to feel threatened by surrounding his Alliance and the danger of the presence of American troops and weapons on its periphery. In response, he supported the revolution in Cuba and attempted to place on the island of nuclear missiles, which led to the Cuban missile crisis. However, even removing the missiles from Cuba, Moscow continued to use it as a foothold in the Western hemisphere and to extend it by using its influence stretching from Canada to Chile. The Soviet Union supported Communist parties in the Americas, parallel teaching by funding and arming terrorist and Marxist rebel groups in the region.Activity of Moscow in North and South America often relied on the experienced Cuban allies of the USSR, for example, was ended badly outing Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Bolivia in the late 1960-ies. The Soviet Union considered such operations not only as a way to spread world communism, but also as a method of countering anti-Communist activity of the United States in the other regions. Creating difficulties for Washington in its own backyard, the Soviet Union diverted the United States from other areas. It is a growing influence of the Communists in the region was brought into Washington in a number of high-profile stories such as the coup of 1954 in Guatemala, the disastrous landing at the Bay of pigs in 1961, the coup of 1973 in Chile and support for the Nicaraguan contras in the 1980-ies.Current activities of RussiaBack in the present, we see that the American threat to Russia’s influence only increased. Protective buffer, covering Russia from Europe, considerably weakened after the collapse of the Soviet Union. These former Warsaw Pact countries like Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania became members of NATO. The Alliance also includes the once the Soviet Union occupied the Baltic countries — Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.Russia felt trapped, and in 2000 this feeling helped Vladimir Putin come to power. However, despite Putin’s promises to return the country to its former strength, strategic buffer of Russia continued to weaken. Particularly alarming to the Russians the fall of Pro-Russian leaders in Ukraine after the “Orange revolution” of 2005 and “Maidan” 2014. To compensate for this key piece of frontier, Putin annexed the Crimea and invaded the South-East of Ukraine. However, Russia still undoubtedly feels the discomfort from the loss of the strategic depth of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet bloc, long time protecting the soft underbelly of the country.Instead of implementing a Marxist group with weapons, Moscow is now arming the anti-government protests in rhetoric aimed at countering U.S. interests in Latin America.Russia’s control over its border becomes weaker and this forces her to resort to old tricks in Latin America. In particular, it is in the last year with the help of its Cuban partners have been supported in Venezuela, the crumbling regime of Nicolas Maduro (Nicolas Maduro). Cuba was a key partner of the Venezuelan authorities in the field of security, since in 1999 the President of Venezuela was Hugo Chavez (Hugo Chavez). Extensive Cuban intelligence network, enveloped in Venezuela, informed the Maduro regime on potential threats and contributed to the schisms and internal conflicts in the opposition. In turn, the Russian financial, military and intelligence support – not to mention the activities of Russian PMCs were also for Maduro a great help. In fact, I would guess that, if not for the help from Russia and Cuba, Maduro would have long ago toppled.However, the activities of Russia and its Cuban partners in Latin America is not limited to Venezuela. November 13, Bolivia has been arrested four Cuban allegedly financing the anti-government protests in support of former President, socialist Evo Morales (Evo Morales). Morales, an ally of Russian-backed regime of Maduro, was forced to seek refuge in Mexico after his victory in the allegedly rigged elections sparked mass protests. Recently, the Organization of American States (OAS) has also accused Cuba and Venezuela of fomenting anti-government protests in Ecuador, Chile and Colombia. Obviously, it is financed by Russia just as the Soviet Union funded the Cuban insurgents in Latin America during the first cold war. Cuba and Venezuela simply can not afford to conduct an independent foreign operations.Exploitation of social tensions for political purposes, the Soviet Union and Russia managed to get a great experience use protests to undermine the position of their Western opponents. There is evidence of Moscow’s involvement in anti-war protests of the 1960-ies in the United States, to protest against nuclear weapons in the 1980-ies, to the movement against shale gas and the recent Occupy movement. Of course, we should not forget about Russia’s intervention in referendum in 2016 Bracito in the American presidential election in the same year.For decades Russia has learned to use to achieve their goals existing social problems. Together with its Cuban and Venezuelan allies she deftly increases the tension in a really pressing social conflicts. Russia is not so much manipulating to worry about scratch, how many balloons long been smoldering under the surface of the flames of economic and social discontent.In addition, Russia is well able to spread misinformation online via social networks. In 2016, she did it in front of the British vote on Brexia and before the American presidential election. In recent years, Moscow has also conducted similar online propaganda campaign in Germany, Ukraine and the Baltic republics. Judging by some signs, she is going to conduct such a campaign and on the eve of the American elections of 2020. Thus, we can assume that it will use misinformation tools in South America to support their socialist allies and the opposition democratic governments, and governments focused on free market, or otherwise allied to the United States.Foreign business is under the gungiven the socialist, anarchist and anti-capitalist bias of many anti-government movements it is not surprising that protesters have already started to target commercials. For example, in Chile at the moment, during anti-capitalist demonstrations were looted and burned over 100 shops, owned by a subsidiary of Walmart. Protests continue to rage across the continent, and this means that American and European businesses operating in these countries is likely to come under attack. The potential danger threatened by mining and energy companies, hotels, banks and airline offices. Also under threat are the diplomatic institutions of the USA and operating in the region NGOs from the United States. Some commercial and non-commercial organizations have already withdrawn their staff from Bolivia after the warnings of the U.S. state Department urged American citizens to leave the country.As Russia seeks to undermine US influence as its borders and globally, Moscow will do everything in her power to have the doors of Washington did not stop the protests. Accordingly, businesses and NGOs in South America will need in the near future to carefully monitor the dynamics of development and the escalation of Latin American instability. Otherwise, they may be under the gun on the next ongoing proxy battle of the cold war.

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