As Biden tries to cozy up to communist Cuba, the Castro dictatorship strengthens its ties with Russia

Cuba Thaw 2.0 couldn’t have come at a better time for Putin, who will leverage Biden administration concessions to his close friends in Havana to his advantage and the detriment of the U.S.

Nora Gamez Torres reports via

Oil, espionage rallying allies? Trips of Putin’s men to Cuba and Venezuela attract attention

The recent visits of high-profile Russian officials to Cuba and Venezuela, all in less than a week, have fueled scrutiny and speculation about Russia’s interests in the region amid the war it launched on Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin’s top security adviser and close ally, Gen. Nikolai Patrushev, the Russian Security Council secretary, met with Cuba’s leader Raúl Castro and the country’s appointed president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, in Havana on Wednesday to discuss “security cooperation.” Also present was Lázaro Alberto Álvarez Casas, the head of Cuba’s Ministry of the Interior, which oversees the country’s various intelligence agencies, the police and border guard.

In his strongest statement yet, Díaz-Canel told Patrushev that “we fully support Moscow’s position that the conflict in Ukraine was deliberately provoked by the West and NATO, and we understand that Russia was forced to launch a special operation,” according to Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the official Russian government newspaper.

Díaz-Canel’s statement did not appear in Cuban state media, which also did not disclose a visit by Patrushev and members of his staff to the Interior Ministry’s headquarters, which Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported.

“Russia views the region as a buffer to provide it with space in the European theater when it is planning acts of aggression,” said Ryan C. Berg, director of the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s almost like clockwork; Russia tends to visit the region when it is planning aggression in the European theater.”

Berg recounted prominent Russian visits to Latin America and the Caribbean that preceded its invasion of Georgia in 2008, its invasion of Crimea in 2014, and its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

“On each of these visits, shoring up Russia’s regional allies — Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua — was always the priority,” he added. “This visit could be more of the same.”

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1 thought on “As Biden tries to cozy up to communist Cuba, the Castro dictatorship strengthens its ties with Russia”

  1. All of those Cubans in military uniform should be sent to fight for Russia in Ukraine. They are the best, so put them on the front lines.

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