Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, and it’s important we remember the Cuban regime that rules Cuba today is the very same regime that sent troops to destroy Israel during that war. Nothing has changed in Cuba since then. The Castro family dictatorship ruling Cuba with an iron fist in 1973 continues to do so 50 years later.
Yom Kippur War at 50: Castro deployed Cuban troops to invade and destroy Israel in October 1973
On October 6, 1973, the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, Egyptian battalions and Syrian tank columns launched a surprise offensive on two fronts against Israel.
During the course of the Yom Kippur War that lasted twenty days, 2,656 Israelis were killed and 7,200 wounded.
Fidel Castro sent thousands of Cuban troops to fight on the Syrian side in the surprise attack to destroy Israel.
Havana maintained diplomatic relations with Israel from 1959 through 1973, even as it fully embraced terrorism against the Jewish nation.
Fidel Castro broke relations with Israel on the eve of the Yom Kippur War. This was required for all Soviet-aligned regimes, as the international communist line defined Israel as a colonial state and an arm of U.S. imperialism. Noticias de Israel (News of Israel) provided a more in-depth description of what took place.
From the highest levels of power in Havana, a secret operation was orchestrated to send military support to Syria. A tank brigade, helicopter pilots, communications agents, and intelligence and counterintelligence officers were meticulously selected for this mission. It was imperative that these men did not arouse suspicion and that they were perfectly prepared for the task entrusted to them.
The Military Brigade of Senén Casas Regueiro was mobilized, and under the command of General Leopoldo Cintra Frías, a recognized name in military circles, this surreptitious plan was put into action. In a carefully planned diversionary maneuver, the soldiers left Cuba dressed in civilian clothes, with forged passports that identified them as university students. They traveled on separate flights to East Germany, where they made a technical stopover, before reaching their final destination: Syria.
Once on Syrian territory, Soviet military equipment, including modern T-62 tanks and SAM rocket artillery, was ready for operation. Figures vary, but it is estimated that between 1,800 and 4,000 Cubans were present in Syria during the 1973 confrontation.
The surprise of this operation resulted in a series of significant losses for Israel, both in human lives and military equipment. Some civilian areas were also hit during the clash.
On March 31, 1974, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan announced on US television that 3,000 Cuban troops had been dispatched to support Syria during the Yom Kippur War. The Economist published two articles in its Foreign Report in 1978 that highlighted Cuba’s role in Syria beginning shortly after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Cuban tank crews fought with Syrian troops. According to Foreign Report, 180 Cubans were killed and 250 were injured.
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