Russia is thinking about placing long-range bombers in Cuba, Tu-160s and Tu-95 MCs, in reaction to the construction of the U.S. ABM system in Eastern Europe, according to Russian media reports. It was unclear if this would be a permanent stationing, or just the flying of bombers to and from Cuba. In 2001, Russia abandoned the Lourdes base in Cuba which had significant intelligence-gathering capabilities.
It’s hard to see Russia going through with this, as the diplomatic ramifications are huge. Think about it. Russia is seeing anti-American forces, allied to her, succeed around the world and develop relations together, forming a new, loose anti-U.S. bloc that the Soviet Union would have dreamed of having. Why go one step too far and force the U.S. to wake up to this?
Then again, former KGB officers who shut down all opposing views in the media and assassinate defectors in foreign lands may not think so logically.
Update: The nominee to be the next chief of staff of the Air Force, General Norman Schwartz, has said that Russia would be crossing “a red line” if they stationed such bombers in Cuba.