The Cuban Navy: Nothing to See Here

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryFor those who may be interested in the potential threat of Cuba’s Navy; it sounds more like a bad movie like the pink submarine from the old American movie Operation Petticoat. This brings me to the subject of Cuba’s only known operating submarine—the Delfin class attack sub. Strangely enough, it was spotted in Havana’s harbor just sitting there. The photograph of the submarine, taken by a tourist, was not exactly hiding in plain sight. I have to wonder why the Cubans do not have a special underground submarine base where they can at least hide this? Worse, it looked like a small boat compared to the size of one of Cuba’s cruise ships. The submarine, from what little we know (or may be even care), is a diesel-powered craft about 70 feet long with may be a five man crew. The submarine’s only armaments, may be two torpedoes, makes it in my view rather useless. With how small this submarine is, one might mistake it for a small whale.

Of course, we have no idea what shape the submarine is in. We only know it exists, that it is more or less armed, and that it might present a threat. Unless the U.S. Navy was made up of only a bunch of trawlers, I cannot see how much of a threat one small submarine like this one could be. With the likes of the Chinese and Russian navies, the Cuban Navy does not seem like much to worry about. IF the Delfin class submarine is the most threatening that the Cuban Navy has, then I think even the U.S. Coast Guard can handle it. However small the U.S. Coast Guard is compared to the size and power of the U.S. Navy, it has formidable ships that can make any enemy of the United States pay dearly. For small, virtually defenseless islands in the Caribbean, the Cuban Delfin class submarine may be a real threat, but for a colossus like the United States this one craft is barely a speck in the sea. Personally, the Cubans would do better making a TV series about their only tin-can submarine and the antics of their five man crew. It would make a GREAT comedy for both Cuban and American audiences, and certainly spice up the barren wasteland that is American TV. If this is the best that the Communist Party of Cuba can come up with, there is really nothing to see here.

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