Viktor Baranets: If the US deploys troops to the Ukraine, then Russia should consider deploying troops and cruise missiles to Cuba and other Latin American countries
Throughout its history Russia has experienced numerous invasions by Western countries such as France, Germany, Poland and Sweden.1 For this reason Russians are naturally leery of the West. The current behavior of NATO and the US does little to allay such fears.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, NATO has been expanding into the former Warsaw pact countries and into the former Soviet republics, actions which broke a promise by NATO to Russia not to do so. Nearly every day we hear mention of either the deployment of NATO or US troops to the Baltics or some Eastern European country, or dangerous encounters between US and Russian warplanes near the border of Russia. There has also been the deployment of US anti-missile systems to Poland and Romania, economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine situation, and the constant demonization of Russia and its leader Putin by Western media and leaders.
Even with President Donald Trump in office, the alleged lackey of Putin, there appears to have been minimal actual abatement of the American onslaught against Russia. Although with Trump there still exists the possibility of improvement of US-Russian relations, it seems likely that at least in the near term such relations will not improve and could very likely worsen.
To the anti-Russia hawks the deployment of troops, military equipment and anti-missile systems to former Soviet bloc countries, not to mention maintaining and increasing sanctions, are perfectly acceptable actions that are needed to thwart Putin, who they consider to be the greatest evil on earth since Stalin or Hitler. While the neocon hawks think their antagonism to be well-founded and necessary, it would be advisable if they took into account how their behavior may effect Russia. At a certain point in time if they keep provoking the Russian bear, then maybe it will strike back.
While Putin has shown remarkable forbearance in dealing with US and NATO provocations, there must be some red line, which if crossed, will prompt him into action. Already Russia has set red lines in Syria. Following the US cruise missile attack on al-Shayrat airbase the joint Iranian and Russian command in Syria official warned “What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well.”2 Another warning was issued by Russia in response to the US downing of a Syrian Su-22 near Tabqah stating that any US-led coalition airplane west of the Euphrates would be tracked by their formidable S-300/S-400 SAM system.3
Beyond what is developing in Syria, Russian military expert Viktor Baranets is advocating that Russia employ a red line against the US vis-à-vis the Ukraine.4 In his view if the US deploys troops to the Ukraine then Russia should react in a retortionary manner, by deploying troops and Caliber cruise missiles in Cuba, Venezuela, or Nicaragua. He stated:5
“Of course, if U.S. military forces are deployed to Ukraine, Russia will have to take this into consideration and take certain measures. Some obvious measures have been necessary for a long time. If the U.S. acts in such an unfriendly way toward Russia, nobody will prevent Russia from deploying similar amounts of troops to Cuba, Venezuela, or Nicaragua, for the sake of defending their democracy and sovereignty. Indeed, it won’t be the same as in 1962 again – we won’t deploy intercontinental ballistic missiles in those countries. It’s enough for us to deploy a couple of dozen Caliber [cruise missiles] there. It will be enouh to point this super-high-precision weapon at America’s fat ass. The deployment of even a limited number of military units in the American continent is a normal symmetrical response. It’s time to start preparing that response.”
Whatever one thinks of Baranets’ opinions and claims, at a certain point in time if the US continues to encroach upon and pressure Russia, Putin will be forced into counteraction and Baranets’ strategy is a reasonable, albeit provocative one to employ. If the US continues to deploy troops and advance weapons systems in Russia’s backyard, then why wouldn’t Russia response in kind and deploy troops and cruise missiles in America’s backyard?
Unfortunately those who are pushing the US towards a clash with Russia, do not and will not grasp this geopolitical equivalency and will become outraged if Russia behaves like they do. The neocons are imbued with a hubris bordering on madness, such that they believe they can act with impunity, however provocative to other nations.
Their wake of chaos, produced by their ill conceived and executed interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, has not shaken their faith in their dogma nor has it taught them any prudence or humility. It has definitely not dissuaded them from furthering their quest for complete global hegemony.
But it is one thing to bully and attack nations in the Middle East who do not have the strength to defend themselves, and quite another to do so with Russia. Russia may have its economic and demographic problems, but it nonetheless possesses the military might to stand up to the US, and the ability to blast it into nuclear oblivion.
Hopefully cooler heads prevail and Trump is able to thwart the neocons and work towards rapprochement with Putin. If not, the strategy of Baranets may soon become a reality and a new Cuban missile could be upon us.
 Viktor Baranets has also claimed that Russia is “quietly ‘seeding’ the U.S. shoreline with nuclear ‘mole’ missiles (they dig themselves in and ‘sleep’ until they are given the command). Oh, it seems I’ve said too much. I should hold my tongue.” See According to Russian military expert Viktor Baranets Russia has prepositioned offshore nukes ready to strike the US if necessary
 https://www.memri.org/tv/russian-military-commentator-caliber-missiles-america , https://www.memri.org/tv/russian-military-commentator-caliber-missiles-america/transcript