Cuba Backs the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Once again, they join the wrong side in the conflict.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin (r) and his Cuban equivalent Miguel Diaz-Canel, during the signing of bilateral agreements. File photo: EFE

The same regime that has been casting itself for decades as a tiny David battling a great Goliath of the North, seems to think it’s okay for the giant Russia to cross the Ukrainian borders.

By 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES – History repeats itself, and on this occasion the repetition isn’t in any way a farce. In 1968, Fidel Castro applauded the Soviet empire’s tanks as they entered Prague – at that time the capital of Czechoslovakia. Now, in February 2022, the regime has failed to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while the Communist Party-controlled press on the island assures that the armed incursion is justified for reasons of “security”.

The Cuban leaders seem ready to accompany Vladimir Putin in his insatiable expansionist cravings, even if it means doing just the opposite of what their official propaganda disseminates and preaches, since the government media constantly use the argument of sovereignty and national independence to reject international questioning and internal dissidence.

The same regime that for decades has presented itself as a tiny David battling the great Goliath of the North, now says it’s fine that the gigantic Russia has crossed the Ukrainian borders, shot missiles into their territory, and now preens before the microphones saying that any attempt on the part of the international community to enter into the conflict will receive a response “beyond anything ever seen before”.

The Cuban regime is situating the island as a pawn in a geopolitical board game that could redefine itself in the coming months. However, it’s already clear that the tiny token that we represent will be on Vladimir Putin’s side, as at one time it stood with the Soviet Union. That placement doesn’t surprise anyone, but it’s worth a moment to evaluate the costs that it will have for Cubans, and the official motives behind it.

Without a doubt, the Cuban regime’s game play is motivated by the need to permanently clash with the United States and with what the Cuban press disparagingly calls “the West”, as if our own island weren’t included in that term, as if we ourselves weren’t Westerners.

On this side of the world, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba – the regimes that have preyed most brutally on citizen freedoms – have opted to support the Kremlin. They’re doing so because – beyond the enormous differences that separate Putin, a reactionary politician whose main ideology appears to be the fiercest and most vengeful nationalism, from our Plaza de la Revolucion – these countries share his authoritarianism, his phobia of liberal democracy and his rejection of all forms of opposition.

We could see this complicity coming, because in the last few days two important Russian delegations have visited Cuba. First, Yuri Borisov, the deputy chairman of the Russian government, arrived; later, mere hours before the bellicose conflict broke out, Miguel Diaz-Canel received Viacheslav Volodin, president of the Duma, Russia’s Parliament.  

Between one and the other visit, we learned that Moscow had granted Havana an extension until 2027 for scheduled debt repayments. These payments were to cover part of the debts that the island has carried since the era when the “Soviet pipeline” supplied resources, fuel and all kinds of inputs to the failed Cuban economic model, which misspent billions of rubles without achieving minimal development of the country.

The following days will be crucial in determining how far the Cuban regime is willing to go in its support of Putin. As the embrace with the Russian bear grows tighter, the possibilities of someday establishing relations with Washington grow more distant. The island’s diplomatic solitude in the region grows, until we’re left with the pathetic duo of Nicolas Maduro and Daniel Ortega.

There are reasons to fear that the regime in Havana could take advantage of the distraction provided by the missiles falling on Ukrainian territory to repeat a repressive raid like that of the 2003 Black Spring. At that time, they took advantage of the smokescreen offered by the Iraq war to cover up their internal outrages. They may well feel that with Putin covering their back, they can now do anything.

But they’re wrong.

Perhaps the Cuban dictatorship is committing their largest error to date, but we still don’t know that. What we do know right now is that war has broken out and it’s not that distant from us. Every step the Cuban leaders take involves us more closely in a conflict that could have incalculable repercussions.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.

23 thoughts on “Cuba Backs the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

  • All right Dan. Let’s go with your plan. All those who support the Castro dictatorship and by inference, the the Putin invasion of Ukraine, should boycott travel to the US. I support, and in fact, encourage those folks to stay home or go elsewhere. Meanwhile, those folks who are against the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s soldiers, should avoid Cuba. I wonder who will suffer more? Cuba or Disneyland?

  • Chaz–well then should people never go to the US again because Trump and some of his lackeys are praising and supporting Putin’s genius? I know Trump is not our current pres., but he was and could yet be again. Scary.

  • Have been several times to Cuba on vacation. Will never go again and hope that many people will boycott travel to Cuba. There is no justification for Cuba to support a butcher and terrorist like Putin. He is a war criminal plain and simple

  • Many useless comments from western media raped brains here. Cuba is by FAR the bravest country in the world.
    Sanctioned by the USA since when? 60 years?
    Because it’s population is ok to be governed by Marxists?
    You know the form of economic & political system which the Wall Street community calls “self destructive”.
    If it is self destructive, then WHY sanctioning them?
    The sanctions have costed Cuba over 130 Billion USD according to the UN report, which was published end of January 2022. May be wrong with the date but not with the content.
    Viva Cuba .
    NB. Writing as a citizen of a NATO country, the evil alliance.

  • I have to agree with Moses – the support of the Cuban government for Putin and Russia is despicable and unforgivable. And not even in their own long-term interests.

  • I am organically opposed to the Castro dictatorship but I can’t support an invasion of Cuba. Here’s why: Freedom and democracy don’t need violence and destruction in order to flourish EXCEPT through self-defense. When Cubans finally get to the point where they want a better future for their children than their fear for their own lives, they will take to the streets and send the dictatorship packing.

  • Seamus, I have some sympathy for your “invade Cuba” comment. If Cuba doesn’t respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, why should anyone respect Cuba’s?
    An invasion of of Cuba would be bad optics, though. Better for the Cubans to overthrow the government, and I hope it happens soon. And if someone were to airdrop a load of weapons into the Sierra Maestra, I wouldn’t have a big problem with it.

  • I am directing this comment to Nick. I agree 150% with you that Trump supports Putin. Trump is an idiot. Now, do you feel better? How does Trump stupidity give you permission to crawl up the Castros’ rear end? Here’s a hint: if you choose to defend the Castro regime, by all means do so. But do so on the merits of the regime. Justifying the Castro dictatorship by attacking other governments is stupid.

  • Mr P,
    The big praise for Putin is coming from your ex president trump.
    You still live in a glass house.
    You still like to throw stones.
    And by the way – when you live in a glass house, everyone can see when you pee yourself.

  • Terry,
    What is cute?
    What isn’t relevant?

  • Those who seem to slavishly support the Castro dictatorship must be privately peeing in their pants in their attempts to support the Castro regime that despicably support the war crimes taking place in Ukraine. Let’s clear the air: the US has been no angel in international relations. Vietnam, South Africa, Guatemala, and Iraq to name a few failures. But the American record does not justify the bombing of a Ukrainian elementary school. Castro sycophants who have commented on this post seem to be struggling to avoid the elephant in the room. The Castro regime is disgusting in their support of Putin and his egomaniacal war on Ukraine.

  • Olga,
    I don’t live In London.
    You clearly and blatantly wish that the USA would act toward Cuba in exactly the same way that Putin is now acting towards Ukraine.
    Chica, you are a disgrace.

  • I wish Biden invade Cuca and liberates Cubans from thus horrible dictatorship that nobody elected. Cubans need the freedom than Dan, Curt, Cury, Nick and other hardcore defenders of the dictatorship enjoying in the CAPITALISM. Enough of hypocrisy or selfishness like someone said. the horrendous regime of Cuba exist to keep happy some Dated ageist Leftist in the prison island. (Cuba) Nick I know you are a compassionate old man. Please don’t denial to Cubans what you enjoy in London

  • I just noticed the “Once again, they join the wrong side in the conflict”. Oh yeah ? Like apartheid South Africa ? , Congo ? Viet Nam ? Which side did the US back ?

  • Curt, Cury or whoever, if you read the main two Cuban government/communist party websites Cubadebate and Granma you will get a clear picture of where the Cuban government stands, backing Russia in its invasion of the Ukraine. Sometimes you may need to read between the lines like Cubans do. But one curious thing is that the only spokespeople quoted are from the Russian government and military.

  • This article is full of lies. The Cuban government never endorsed the Russian invasion. They believe in the Russian cause but think it should be resolved by diplomacy rather than war. The US former president, who Miami Cubans love so much not only endorsed the invasion, but also praised Putin as a genius. You should check sources before printing false articles!

  • Of course it is outrageous that Cuba does not disagree with what Putin has done to Ukraine , but looking into the mind of their leaders, what do you expect? Russia is one of the few countries that has provided aid to Cuba.. Why bite the hand that feeds you.
    US leaders need to dust off their Bibles and read how Jesus and many others in the Bible helped a so called enemy who was in trouble.. The Canaanite and prostitute Rahab was taken in by the Jewish people saving her from the fall of Jericho , and it was her son Boaz married a foreign woman, a Gentile, untouchables, .. and they were in direct line to the birth of our Saviour, the Messiah.

  • Didn’t Bush promise that NATO would not expand eastwards ? Look what happened to that promise. What would the US do if Mexico joined a military alliance with China ?

  • I hope USA invades Cuba to free it’s people from the existing tyrant regime currently inflicting hardship and starvation on its own people.

  • Thanks for catching the mistake!

  • Should be “preyed”, not “prayed”.

  • Trump is one of Putin’s poodles.
    It would be pretty dumb for Cuba to become another one of his poodles.

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