Russia Offers to Fund Cuban Capitol Reconstruction

By: Karina Martín - May 17, 2017, 4:15 pm
Whoever wins the contract must present both structural and aesthetic plans for repairing the dome (Flickr).

A Russia state-owned company has put in a bid to restore the gold layer of the dome of the Capitol Building of Havana, Cuba.

The company Goszagransobstvennost, under the control of Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s Management Office, will start the bidding process for the project, with a budget limit initially set at 20 million rubles (USD $ 354,000).

The winner of the project must present both structural and aesthetic plans.

According to the president of the Russian Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, Cuban parliamentarians requested help in assessing the logistics of the project.


The Russian federal budget will finance the project. Next June, the winner of the bidding will be announced publicly.

By 2016, Putin’s Management Directorate had already commissioned 2.4 million rubles (USD $42,500) to perform architectural surveys on the building.

The National Capitol of Havana was built in 1929 by the then Cuban President Gerardo Machado, and was created as the headquarters of Cuba’s bicameral legislature.

The Capitol is currently one of the most visited tourist attractions in Havana, and is named by some experts as one of the six most significant palaces in the world.

The Soviet Union and Cuba enjoyed a close relationship for decades as strategic Cold War allies, as the Moscow regime propped up the Communist island nation by paying generous, above-market prices for its sugar exports. Following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian government found itself focused on domestic measures, to the detriment of his former geopolitical influence.

However, during the tenure of Vladimir Putin, Russia has increasingly sought to increase its influence in the region, pursuing close relationships with Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, in particular.

Putin recently sent a tanker filled with 250,000 gallons of petroleum products, to help prop up the Caribbean nation in the wake of Venezuela’s collapse.

Sources: Cubanet; Cibercuba; Cubadebate

Karina Martín Karina Martín

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.

Venezuela’s Riot Police Are Ready to Jump Ship according to WSJ

By: David Unsworth - @LatinAmerUpdate - May 17, 2017, 4:11 pm
Venezuelan riot police are increasingly losing confidence in their government (

    In the wake of two months of massive violent protests throughout Venezuela, the nation's riot police has been stretched to the breaking point, with many seeking a way out, according to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal. The piece also notes that riot police are offered the most meager rations, deprived of sleep, and have been confined to their barracks in off-duty time, due to recent desertions. Strongman Nicolas Maduro, who has completed Hugo Chávez's vision of turning Venezuela into a socialist dictatorship, has relied on the support of the military and the police to prop up his increasingly totalitarian regime as it navigates the most dire of straits. Faltering loyalty to his administration on the part of the military and/or police would spell doom for his attempts to cling to power, potentially signalling his impending exit. Read More: Venezuelans "Hunt Down" Maduro Regime Supporters in Miami Read More: Trudeau Welcomes Venezuelan Opposition Leader Tintori to Demand Freedom for Political Prisoners The opposition protests have taken place nearly every day for the past month, as hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans take to the streets to protest food scarcity, shortages, insecurity, and corruption. The Maduro regime's recent decisions to attempt to dissolve the National Assembly, thwart regional elections, and ban opposition politician Henrique Capriles from the nation's political life have only served to further deepen the chaos and instability. Fewer than one in five Venezuelans currently support the regime, and Maduro has recently announced plans to upend the nation, yet again, by holding a new Constitutional Assembly, which he is certain to pack with his own supporters, in attempt to trample the opposition, which holds a large majority in the National Assembly. Protests have grown increasingly violent, featuring molotov cocktails, rocks, rubber bullets, and teargas. The front lines of the battle lie in Caracas, between the opposition-dominated eastern neighborhoods, and the downtown, which has traditionally been supportive of the regime. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); In the Wall Street Journal's report, rank-and-file officers interviewed suggest that support for the regime is wavering, a situation only hastened by insufficient food, water, medical care, and wages. Yet riot police also bear the brunt of jeers and ridicule from their neighbors, with many removing their uniforms on their way to and from work. Working for the Maduro regime now comes with a severe social stigma, a fact that could prove catastrophic for the socialist government. Thus, the question remains: Will Venezuela's state security rank-and-file desert their posts and/or turn on the government despite the consequences? Source: Wall Street Journal

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