Cuba Uncovers Russian War-Trafficking Network
The Cuban government has uncovered a Russia-based human trafficking network recruiting Cubans to fight as mercenaries in Russia’s war against Ukraine. Criminal proceedings against those involved in the smuggling ring have been initiated, the Cuban Foreign Ministry said on September 4.
While Cuba is a close ally of Russia, its Foreign Ministry stressed in a statement that “Cuba isn’t part of the war in Ukraine.” It also said Cuba “will act decisively against those who engage in human trafficking with the aim of recruiting Cuban citizens to bear arms in any country.”
Cuba’s statement came after a video on Miami’s AmericaTeVe station showed two young Cubans who said they had been placed on the front lines in Ukraine by the Russian military. “There are many Cubans who have disappeared,” one of them said in the video.
The youths said they signed up to repair houses and dig trenches, but were sent to the Russian front lines instead. They then warned Cubans tempted to take up any Russian offers not to do so.
Pedro Freyre, a Miami-based lawyer and Cuba expert, expressed surprise for Cuba’s public statement. “In some way, shape or form, they are pushing back on the Russians,” he said.
Communist or Catholic? Cuba’s Communist government is currently a close partner with the formerly socialist-leaning Russia. However, as Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry points out in his booklet Great Again, Cuba has a strong Roman Catholic religious base:
For many years, not a single European power was strong enough to stop the mighty and wealthy Holy Roman Empire and its ambition to colonize and catholicize the New World. This is part of Cuba’s heritage.
Modern Cuba is a Communist nation, but it has only been Communist for about six decades—less than a lifetime. It has been a Catholic country for almost 500 years! Today, between 60 and 65 percent of Cubans say they are Catholic, so it’s clear that the church’s influence remains deeply entrenched. … If enormous changes occur, the Vatican could gain real power in Cuba.
The dismantling of Russia’s human trafficking network could spark Cuba’s move away from Russia and cause it to become closer to a Catholic Europe.