Putin only got four yes votes in the UN general Assembly in support for its invasion in Ukraine: only Syria, Belarus, Eritrea, North Korea sided with Moscow. Did Moscow get the response it was expecting from its allies in Latin America?

Are Moscow’s allies in Latin America switching sides?

By: Antonio C. López (ISHR Nicaragua) and Dr. Haydee Marin (ISHR Colombia)

Our point: the leftist Latin American dictatorships are watching that Russia’s only strength lies in using nuclear bombs, which eventually will destroy the whole world. As Russian regime is on a coalition course, China seems to be the only big ally for them to get hold on to. What is behind this move: fear or calculus? 

We all saw it on TV: In these difficult times for Putin -who is confronting sanctions from all over the democratic world- the regimes of Havana, Caracas and Managua abstained from publicly saying yes to Russia’s move to invade Ukraine.

Indeed, the Latin American “triad of tyrannies” are calculating their next move should Putin crumbles. They know very well that the invasion in Ukraine is not turning out as expected for Putin’s best interests.

The Russian Federation was supposed to fully conquer Ukraine in just 48-to-72 hours. However, Moscow’s military miscalculations have proved wrong. Brave Ukrainian soldiers and citizens are resisting to a point where the world is watching in awe. Plus, the young Russian soldiers are not willing to sacrifice their lives for a cause they feel comfortable about. Europe is -as never before- responding with a forceful, incisive diplomacy that is keeping them cohesively united; Germany is back again committed to arming itself to the teeth to confront any aggression coming from Russia. Well-known pacifist countries like Finland and Sweden felt threatened themselves at hearing Moscow say that they ¨should not join the NATO alliance” (The menace itself has had a counterproductive effects, Putin did not expect at all!).

Politically speaking, if Putin conquers Ukraine and imposes a puppet regime in Kiev, he still will be significantly isolated and discredited. He will have to face both more enemies abroad and inside his country. In Russia the oligarchs, the military, the media people, and the young Russian soldiers -unwilling to go abroad and shed their blood- will not be fully on the side of the new red tzar.

What is behind the abstention mode of the allies of Moscow in Latin America?

The Havana response could have been one of sending in “voluntary” soldiers to fight side by side with the Russians now fighting in Ukraine. But that has not happened yet. With that new attitude in place, the post-Castro regime is reeling: they are afraid of going through again a similar situation like the one they experienced after the collapse of the ‘Berlin wall’. However, given the circumstances of this situation, Diaz-Canel knows well that he’d better be cautious. This means not showing empathetic feelings for a “friend” in the eye of the storm.

Venezuela is another puppet regime that has been wobbling with no good expectations at all. Its economy is in shambles; Venezuela’s oil exporting industry has already compromised its future export sales for the next twenty years in order to pay for the weapons bought to Russia.

No wonder Nicaragua is in bad shape economically too. Ortega just learned that Washington recently stated the CAFTA accord of which Managua is a full member, might “be revised”. This is a threat around the corner Ortega is much afraid of.

Ortega’s weakness is so evident. In 2018, he was hanging by a thread as a few thousand unarmed students took to the streets in the major cities of Nicaragua.

The worst is yet to come. Sanctions are like a slow venom killing slowly yet surely. Russia’s economy is not as strong as it was thought of; it will gradually fall apart from now on due to its total disconnection with the rest of the world.

A non-military defeat alone for Putin will surely leave him isolated to an extreme degree. We are sure none of his three “friends” in the Caribbean are willing to stay under a crumbling roof that looms disastrous for the Kremlin’s petite club overseas.

What was going through the minds of the three Tropical dictadors when the vote at the UN took place?

1) Russia made a mistake with disastrous consequences already in place and of which it will not be able to recover from shortly; 2) Russian ships and planes will not be able to arrive in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua to help them suffocate any eventual domestic rebellion; 3) in one way or another the sanctions imposed on Russia are having already some detrimental effects on the three regimes in question; 4) China’s cautious foreign policy at this moment proves that its leadership is more likey to set up a new world order Havana, Caracas and Managua will gladly adjust to.

Surely, Putin must be angry at seeing that no country from the Western world expressed some type of “solidarity in words” to Russia. His disappointment must be enormous at seeing his “allies” in Latin America show a betrayal attitude.

Whatever the next scenarios may turn into, the new world order is unfolding rapidly right before our eyes.

Putin just made a costly strategic mistake for which it will pay a huge bill. His “allies” in Latin America region are terrified. And by now they must be grateful to the fact that China is somewhere there to come to their rescue in times of turbulence and international isolation.