Cuba Exposes Human Trafficking Ring Linked to Russian-Ukrainian Conflict


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cuba has blown the whistle on a human trafficking ring purportedly recruiting Cubans to serve in Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. The ministry’s statement indicated that this operation involved Cubans residing in Russia and perhaps even individuals within Cuba itself, who have been subsumed into the armed forces engaged in the Ukrainian war.

Despite being a steadfast ally of Russia, Cuba emphasizes that it is not involved in the Ukrainian conflict. As of press time, there has been no response from Russia on this allegation. The Cuban authorities failed to shed light on the parties directing this operation.

Last year saw Russian President Vladimir Putin command a surge in his nation’s troops following significant casualties suffered by Russian combatants in Ukraine. The Russian periodical, Ryazan Gazette, later reported that Cuban residents in Russia had signed up with the Russian armed forces to fight in Ukraine, lured by the bait of gaining Russian citizenship.

Although it is ambiguous whether the ministry’s statement in Cuba is related to the Ryazan Gazette’s articles, the statement takes a clear stand against mercenary activity, referencing Cuba’s robust historical posture against such practices.

“Cuba will take definitive action against those involved in human trafficking with the intent of enlisting Cuban citizens to participate in armed conflict in any country,” the statement declared.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez unveiled this statement on a social media platform, now known as Platform X, emphasizing Cuba’s dedication to using “the force of the law” to combat efforts to draft its citizens.

This recent revelation introduces a dissonant note in the generally harmonious relations between Cuba and Russia, a relationship that has enjoyed intensifying trade partnerships. Only a couple of months ago, the defense ministers of both nations convened in Moscow, and Russia’s foreign minister traveled to Cuba, a jewel in the crown of Russia’s Latin American allies.

Since the Cuban revolution of 1959, when Fidel Castro ascended to power, Cuba has been a key ally of Russia. Castro – known for resisting numerous failed attempts by the United States to topple his administration- formed a strategic partnership with Russia during the Cold War. Russia reciprocated this allegiance by providing Havana’s government with crucial economic, political, and military support.

In one of the most perilous standoffs of the Cold War, a clandestine 1962 deal permitted the Soviet Union to host nuclear missiles in Cuba as a deterrent to further US invasions. Although a peaceful resolution followed after an agreement between Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and US President John F. Kennedy, Cuba-US relations continue to be strained, a result of longstanding US sanctions on Cuba.


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