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The dismantling of a network that smuggled Cubans to fight alongside Russian forces in Ukraine has just paid off. According to official media reports, 17 people were arrested on the island.

The network promised those recruited employment in Russia and adequate salaries.

Last week, two youths reported that they had traveled duped into thinking they were going to work in construction.

Of those arrested so far Three were members of the inter-island recruitment scheme.According to experts of the digital newspaper “Cuban Debate” of the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation of the Ministry of the Interior, which was directed from abroad.

Another 14 claimed to have voluntarily joined the operation in exchange for residence in Russia and receiving a significant financial reward.

Their confessions, in addition to interfering with the group’s leader’s communications with the rest of those internally involved, have allowed investigators to learn more about how the group operates and, according to official media, to gather criminal evidence against the detainees. Allows.

Apparently, recruiters were specifically looking for people who had Criminal records or who were from dysfunctional families.

The network also looked for mercenaries among Cubans living in Russia, where there is a growing community. Because Moscow does not require visas for Cuban citizens, it is estimated that 28,000 Cubans entered Russia in 2019 alone, although it is unclear how many decided to stay.

The crimes with which the 17 detainees are charged are currently unknown, although according to “Cuban Debate”, the Cuban legislative framework establishes severe sanctions for crimes such as Smuggling, illegal trade and mercenary trade.

Moscow’s ally Cuba has made no secret of its political support for Russia in the war in Ukraine, according to BBC Monitoring’s Pascal Fletcher. Russia is an important trading partner for the island and since the beginning of the invasion, official media and the executive have defended the Russian account of the conflict.


In Miami, where a large portion of Cuban exiles are located, several media outlets reported The presence of Cuban mercenaries fighting in Ukraine in Russian ranksAnd last May, according to the Russian news portal “Ryazan Gazette”, it was revealed that several Cubans living in Russia had enlisted in that country’s army.

According to Russian media, Cubans were to receive approximately the same payments US$5,000,

As Fletcher points out, the Cuban government prefers to use the term “mercenaries” to denounce internal dissidents and anti-government activists who claim they are funded by the United States government, “so Hearing Cuban media in exile accuse Russia of using Cubans as ‘mercenaries’ and ‘cannon fodder’ in Ukraine is anathema to the Cuban authorities.

In a statement, the Havana government wanted to clarify that “Cuba is not part of the war conflict in Ukraine“, and that “It is taking action and will take strict action against any person participating in any form of human trafficking for the purposes of recruitment or hire, from the national territory so that Cuban citizens of any country Can use weapons against.”

On September 1, two young Cubans, Endorf Velazquez Garcia and Alex Vegas DiazCondemned on social networks that he was fraudulently taken to Russia.

Both young men claimed that they were taken from Cuba to Russia with the promise of work as masons in building construction, but once there they were taken to military recruitment zones.

“They made us sign some documents They promised us salary and food in exchange for jobs“But the truth is that they are taking us to work in a war zone,” Velazquez told the America TV television network.

Just four days later, the Cuban government announced the dismantling of a human trafficking ring, “which trafficked Cuban citizens living there and even some Cuban military forces participating in combat operations in Ukraine.” “Works from Russia to include in.” Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

gray line.


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