What Happened: Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, has visited Havana to meet Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Interior Minister Julio Cesar Gandarilla Bermejo, Tass reported Oct. 15. During the visit, Patrushev and Bermejo signed a memorandum of understanding for a joint security dialogue on terrorism, crime and the arms trade, among others.
Why It Matters: The visit underlines Russia's strategy of diversifying its diplomatic relations as it comes under greater pressure from the West. Russia has been increasing its economic and security support for Cuba in recent years, partly to gain leverage against the United States.
Background: A Russian official last visited Cuba in July when Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez Parilla, to discuss bilateral economic relations.
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