By Progreso Weekly

Alejandro Castro Espín is a colonel at the Ministry of Interior.
Alejandro Castro Espín is a colonel at the Ministry of Interior.

HAVANA TIMES – Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB, for its Russian initials) and Cuba’s Commission on National Security and Defense on Wednesday (May 14) signed a memorandum of cooperation in Moscow and agreed to create a joint working group on national security.
Nikolai Platonovich Patrushev, head of the FSB, signed for the Russian Federation.

Alejandro Castro Espín, President Raúl Castro’s son, signed for Cuba; Nikolai Platonovich Patrushev, head of the FSB, signed for the Russian Federation.

“The situation in the world is changing rapidly, it is very dynamic. That’s why we need to be able to respond to it quickly,” Patrushev said.

Castro Espín said that “Russia and Cuba need an effective cooperation mechanism to respond to the important issues. In our memorandum, we identified priorities for cooperation, to ensure the safety of both our nations.”

Castro Espín, 49, is a colonel in the Cuban Interior Ministry and adviser to President Castro.

Nikolai Platonovich Patrushev, head of the FSB, signed for the Russian Federation.
Nikolai Platonovich Patrushev, head of the FSB, signed for the Russian Federation.

Patrushev, 63, a former intelligence officer who in the 1970s worked with now-President Vladimir Putin in the KGB (the former Soviet secret service), is said to be a leading force in the growing rapprochement between Russia and Cuba. The FSB is the successor of the KGB.

Castro Espín arrived in Moscow on Tuesday and met immediately with the leadership of the FSB, the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), and the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.

Most likely, he met with Aleksandr I. Bastrykin, chairman of the Investigative Committee, who visited Havana in late March for talks with Interior Minister Gen. Abelardo Colomé Ibarra.

As reported at the time in Progreso Weekly, Bastrykin, as former First Deputy Prosecutor General, and, since 2011, chairman of an agency that specializes in the investigation and prosecution of enemies of the state, was in Cuba to lend his expertise to the Cuban Ministry of the Interior, which oversees domestic security.


11 thoughts on “Cuba Looks to Russia for Security

  • You wrote, “The Cuban government today is but a shadow of the regime it once was with Fidel at the helm.”

    What exactly has changed? Swapping Raul for Fidel has not made much of a difference. The harassment & arrest of dissidents continues, with over 900 political arrests arrested in April alone. There is still no freedom of speech, no freedom of association, no labour rights, workers still have no right to strike or collective bargaining. The Cuban government still does not respect the human rights of the Cuban people.

    Please be specific and list all the amazing changes which have improved the lives of ordinary Cubans. I really don’t see these changes.

    You wrote, “there must be unilateral agreement and compromise on both sides.”

    Um, I think you mean, “there must be bilateral agreement.” Unilateral means one-side, as opposed to both sides.

    You wrote, “I expect the Cuban government to agree to a schedule for transitional changes and concessions to be implemented as part of a negociated settlement for normalizing relations.”

    Really? You expect this based on what comments from the Cuban government? Raul Castro has stated clearly that “there will be no political reforms”. Period. That emphatic position seems to rule out and possible transition or concessions.

    The Castro regime does not want a negotiated agreement with the US. The want the embargo lifted without condition. They want US corporations to invest in Cuba under terms dictated by Havana. They want their grip on power to continue. They know that any concession to democracy and freedom for the Cuban people will undermine their power and end their rule faster than any US gunboat diplomacy will.

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