Jugglers: Cuba Confuses Victims and Killers in Ukraine

Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel, and the Russian, Vladimir Putin, in the Kremlin, in 2018.

An old resource lies behind Cuba’s distorted and hypocritical rhetoric, which Fidel Castro used when he supported the Warsaw Pact’s invasion of Czechoslovakia: covering up the vilest subservience with an alleged ethical and “anti-imperialist” stance.

By Cubaencuentro

HAVANA TIMES – Confusion and lies. The Cuban Government is putting the US as the aggressor in Ukraine and not Russia, and it seems to pretend that it’s US soldiers killing Ukrainian citizens.

Cuba’s Ministery of Foreign Affairs continues to blame the US and NATO’s “endeavors”, continuing to “gradually expand” the Atlantic Alliance eastwards towards the Russian border, for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and has advocated for “serious, constructive and realistic diplomacy for the current crisis in Europe.”

“Everyone is aware of military movements by the US and NATO in recent months towards regions neighboring the Russian Federation, with modern weapons being delivered to Ukraine beforehand, which together are a progressive military siege,” the Cuban diplomatic body explained in a statement.

“US efforts to continue expanding NATO eastwards towards the Russian Federation’s borders, has led to a situation, with unpredictable scope, that could have been avoided,” the Cuban ministry stated.

Without going into great detail, this official information notes that Cuba has reported US and NATO “hegemonism” towards small countries, as well as “abuses of power and injustice,” and has said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine “could have been avoided.”

Meanwhile, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that Cuba is a country “that defends International Law and is committed to the UN Charter,” so it “will always defend peace and oppose the use or threat of force against any State.”

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of innocent civilian lives in Ukraine. The Cuban people have had and have a close relationship with the Ukrainian people,” the statement puts forward.

Before this Tuesday, Cuba said that “History will demand the US Government to take responsibility” for the consequences of an “increasingly offensive military doctrine” outside of NATO’s borders.

An old resource lies behind Cuba’s distorted and hypocritical rhetoric, which was used decades ago by the late leader Fidel Castro when he supported the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia at the time: covering up the vilest subservience with an alleged ethical and “anti-imperialist” stance.

Reality is a lot more crass and just comes down to money. If Cuba during Fidel Castro’s time in power depended mostly on a great deal of Soviet aid, it can’t even free itself of Russia’s handouts and favors today.

An example? The Russian Federation has agreed to postpone Cuba’s debt repayments until 2027, which means it has until then to pay back its 2.3 billion USD debt, which is the result of debt restructuring in the past and many loans granted by Russia for Cuba’s electricity generation, the metal industry and transport infrastructure.

The new debt repayment conditions, which were approved by Russia’s State Duma, were originally drafted by the Cuban legislature last year.

Aware of the Cuban Government’s history of failing to meet payments, it comes as no surprise that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is leaning towards buying Sepoys, by granting an economic relief package. Lastly, Putin knows that it will be very difficult to get this money back from the Cubans.

Thus, the Cuban Government has expressed its support for Putin’s recognition of the separatist regions in Donbas, Ukraine, and Cuba has accused the US of waging a “propaganda war” against what it understands to be a legitimate annexation of the ethnic Russian-regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

This isn’t the first time Russia has proven to be indulgent with Cuba’s debt repayments. In summer 2014, just a couple of months after Russia annexed Crimea – which the Cuban Government recognized as a legitimate action – Putin visited Havana to offer forgiveness of 90% of Cuba’s debt during the Soviet era.

It also has to be said that Russia hasn’t been the only generous soul with Cuba. The island has sought – and managed – for the Paris Club to grant it new debt repayment deadlines with Western countries, although it hasn’t managed to get the interest forgiven. The latest deferment came last October, when the Paris Club agreed to postpone Cuban debt repayments by a year, starting again in November 2022.

In another cycle of History repeating itself, Cuba not only finds itself more isolated from the rest of the world than it did a few years ago – from a political and economic standpoint -, but it is also drawing closer to Russia again, reminding us of the Cold War years. Although, of course, Diaz-Canel is selling himself for less, a lot cheaper, than Castro did in his best years.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times