02:32 GMT +318 July 2018
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    US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuba's President Raul Castro as they hold a bilateral meeting during the Summit of the Americas in Panama City

    US Mends Fences With Cuba to Keep Russia Out of the Picture – Rasmussen

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    Preventing a re-emergence of the Soviet-era friendship between Cuba and Russia could be a reason behind Washington’s current desire to mend fences with Havana, a prominent US political analyst said Thursday.

    There is every reason to believe that the current easing of tensions between the US and Cuba could be prompted by Washington’s desire to rule out any long-term partnership between Moscow and Havana, Earl Rasmussen, Executive Vice President of the Washington-based Eurasia Center think tank, told RIA Novosti on Thursday, commenting on President Barack Obama’s intention to take Cuba off the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

    Rasmussen added that discussions on the future of US-Cuban relations had been going on for quite a while, but Moscow’s recent moves to ramp up economic and political ties with Havana factored in heavily in Washington’s decision to improve long-soured relations with the Caribbean island.

    Rasmussen mentioned President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Cuba where he signed a raft of trade and technological cooperation agreements with the Cuban leaders. He also pointed to the growing defense cooperation between Moscow and Havana.

    Cuba is a mere 150 kilometers away from Florida and the last think Washington wants is to see a Russian military presence on the island, Earl Rasmussen added.

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    US-Cuba Relations, interview, Eurasia Center, Earl Rasmussen, United States
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