Russia May Land Bombers in Cuba, Venezuela

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2009 12:44 PM CDT
A Russian AWAC Mainstay IL76 flies over International waters off the coast of Norway on Friday Aug. 17, 2007.   (AP Photo )
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(Newser) – Russian bombers may find a home in Latin America, Bloomberg reports. Venezuela and Cuba have offered to let Moscow use their airfields, and a top military official seems to like the idea. “If the heads of the two countries show the will, the political will, then we are prepared to fly there,” said Major Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev. The Kremlin says it's all just speculation at this point.

But the "political will" does appear to be there. In fact, Russian bombers already have visited Venezuela, in a brief training stop last year. One Russian newspaper has reported that Russia is considering building a refueling base in Cuba if the US goes ahead with a missile-defense system in Eastern Europe. But the Defense Ministry denied that report.