Russia-Cuba “In Contact” on Cubans Hired to Fight in Ukraine

The Cuban Government insists it has no participation in the recruitment of its citizens to fight with Russia. (Mario Vallejo)

By EFE (14ymedio)

HAVANA TIMES – The Russian ambassador to Cuba, Viktor Koronelli, said on Wednesday that Moscow and Havana are “in contact” and “working” to clarify the issue of hiring Cubans in both countries to fight on the Russian side in the war in Ukraine. Koronelli made these statements to the international media outside an act of gratitude by the Cuban Government for a donation of 650 tons of vegetable oil from Russia and the World Food Program (WFP).

“The competent bodies are working and are in contact with both the Russian and Cuban sides,” said the diplomat, who acknowledged that his embassy is aware of Cubans who had gone to Russia “to prepare militarily,” but that he did not know the specific figures.

The Cuban government announced earlier this month the dismantling of an alleged Cuban recruitment network, after various media reported that there were groups of mercenaries from that country fighting on the Russian side in the invasion of Ukraine.

A team of Ukrainian hackers leaked images, obtained from the mail of a Russian soldier, of about 200 passports of Cubans who are allegedly serving as mercenaries hired by Russia.

As a result of these incidents, the Cuban Foreign Ministry categorically rejected any form of participation in the invasion of Ukraine and stressed that mercenarism is a crime in their country.

The Cuban government has regularly used the Kremlin’s rhetoric to refer to the invasion of Ukraine but has chosen to abstain in the majority of votes on Ukraine at the United Nations.

Cuba and Russia have been close political allies for decades, as a result of the strengthening of their ties during the Cold War (1945-1991). Bilateral relations have received a new impetus in recent months, especially with the visit to Moscow of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel.

Political contacts have multiplied, and ways have also been sought to increase economic exchanges, which in 2022 totaled $451 million dollars.

Translated by Regina Anavy for Translating Cuba

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2 thoughts on “Russia-Cuba “In Contact” on Cubans Hired to Fight in Ukraine

  • When did the Castro regime (Diaz-Canel being a Castro appointment and puppet) adopt telling the truth? Misinformation is legendary. The article describes Russia and Cuba as: “close political allies”, as if there ever was equality between them. What Russia decrees, Cuba accepts – and traditionally with alacrity. In endeavors to receive anything from Russia in his begging bowl, Diaz-Canel Bermudez will comply with Putin’s demands. Morality and integrity have no place!

  • This whole Cuban mercenary episode rather reminds one of that famous scene from the 1942 Casablanca, when the corrupt police Captain Louis Renault (played by Claude Rains) suddenly blows his police whistle in the middle of Rick’s Cafe, and announces, “Everybody is to leave here immediately! This cafe is closed until further notice. Clear the room at once!”

    Rick (played by Humphrey Bogart), hurries over and asks, “How can you close me up? On what grounds?”

    “I’m shocked!” says Captain Renault, nodding towards the back room casino Rick operates. “Shocked!” he continues, “to find that gambling is going on in here!” At that very moment, a waiter comes up and hands Captain Renault a wad of banknotes, saying, “Your winnings, Sir.”
    Oh, thank you very much,” replies Renault, taking the cash; then he waves his hand towards the crowd, and says, “Everybody out at once!”

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