When the Cold War ended, Cuba’s relations with Russia, which had hitherto accounted for 75 percent of the island’s commerce, ground to a halt. But the opening of a new Russian orthodox church in Havana signals a revival. El País reports that the church symbolizes the recently renewed relations between the two nations. Cuba’s newfound eminence among countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia makes it a natural starting point for Russia’s plan to increase its influence in Latin America. In 2006, Russia extended $355 million of credit to Cuba, and last year, commercial exchanges between them reached $400 million. When hurricanes hit Cuba this summer, Russia was the first country to send aid. And, for what it’s worth, the Castro regime sided with Russia in its recent conflict with Georgia.
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