The Russians are coming...to Cuba?
Guess what happens when you go to a ball game and legitimize a Cuban dictator: Raúl Castro turns around and gives the Russians a big piece of business – the air traffic control system in the island.
This is from Sabrina Martin of the Pan Am Post:
The largest Russian manufacturer of electronic devices for civil aviation will be in charge of creating a new air traffic control system for Cuba.
The news comes days after the Cuban government refused visas to US congressmen who were traveling to the island to inspect and certify the conditions of airports before regular flights between Cuba and the United States can resume.
The Russian company Azimut signed a contract with the Cuban state company Aviaimport to transfer technology, information, and research in civil aeronautics for air traffic control on the island.
The deal includes the delivery of the source-code and the execution of tests. Likewise, the Russian company will offer training for the Cuban employees who will be in charge of the system’s operation.
The agreement between the state-owned firm and Azimut will last until June 2017 and the system is expected to be implemented in 10 international airports in Cuba.
Currently, Cuban airports use an ORACLE-based system, acquired from Canada in 2000, which officials deem outdated.
It’s worth noting that six airlines were authorized by the US government to operate 155 weekly flights for almost 20,000 passengers between five US cities and nine Cuban destinations.
This is a slap in the face to U.S. businesses who bought into the idea that the Obama-Castro deal would open new markets. At the end of the day, Raúl Castro selected the Russians, and all of the potential security challenges that it brings.
He also denied visas to a U.S. House delegation that wanted to check the Cuban airport security systems. Wonder why. The decision to bring in Vlad Putin answers that question!
Russia is back in the Middle East and Cuba. We can thank Obama for that!