Havana: Russia’s smuggling network recruits Cubans for Ukraine war

Cuba recently reported the discovery of a suspected Russian recruitment network illegally recruiting Cubans for “military operations in Ukraine.” The Foreign Ministry in Havana said on Tuesday that it was taking action against a network operating from Russia. This network aims to mobilize Russian-based Cubans for military action in Ukraine. Residents of the island of Cuba could also be involved.

Investigations against those involved have already been initiated, the ministry informed. Havana positions itself clearly against any form of “mercenaryism” and emphasizes that it is not involved in the Ukraine conflict.

Bruno Rodríguez, the foreign minister, stressed via the online service X (formerly known as Twitter) that the government takes strong action against any illegal human trafficking. He added: “Cuba will take action against anyone involved in human trafficking in any way, especially when the goal is to recruit Cubans as mercenaries for armed conflicts.”

Moscow is silent

To date, there has been no official statement from Russia. It is worth noting that diplomatic ties between Moscow and Havana have been tightened recently. An example of this was the meeting between Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow late last year. Another notable meeting was that between Cuban Defense Minister Álvaro López Miera and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu in June.

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