The Cuban Missile Crisis will go down in history as the time when the Third World War was almost started. It happened in October, 1962. President John F. Kennedy feared the Nikita Khruschev had placed Soviet missiles in Cuba to threaten the U.S. After days of a tense stand-off, the missiles were removed, essentially putting paid to the claim that Cuba constituted a threat to the U.S.
In 1991, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian Bear exited the island that stands ninety miles off the tip of Florida.
Now, fifty years later, we learn from today’s BBC.com report, www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-1565524, that the Chinese Dragon had been ramping up its presence in Cuba for several years. Five hundred Cuban students are now learning Mandarin at the Confucius Institute of the University of Havana.
China is Cuba’s second largest trading partner after Venezuela, and is participating in preparations to exploit Cuba’s off-shore oil fields.
Whether it fears the bear or the dragon, the eagle has been shooting itself in the foot for more than half a century.