Sunday, September 10, 2023

Cuba arrests 17 for trafficking men to fight for Russia in Ukraine: "Cuba is not part of the military conflict"

Cuban authorities informed on Thursday about the arrest of 17 people involved in a human trafficking network that operated to incorporate Cuban citizens into war operations in Ukraine
Specialists from the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation at the Ministry of the Interior said on national television that the persons involved in this criminal network in Cuba are being investigated.

They added that three persons belonged to the recruitment scheme within Cuba, directed from abroad. The remaining 14 persons confessed that they had joined the operation by their individual and voluntary decision in exchange for residence in Russia and substantial monetary compensation.
The organizers identified individuals with criminal records from dysfunctional families to incorporate them into the mercenary system. The leading criminal evidence is the confessions of the detainees and the communications established by the ringleader within the network with the remaining participants.

The investigation into these events, which affects national security, continues.

A few days ago, the Cuban Foreign Ministry (MINREX) issued a statement saying that Cuba is facing human trafficking operations for military recruitment purposes.

The MINREX statement ratified that Cuba is not part of the military conflict in Ukraine, and it will act vigorously against whoever participates in any human trafficking operations for recruitment or mercenarism purposes from the national territory, so that Cuban citizens can use weapons against another country.

Statement from the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Cuba counters human trafficking operations aimed for military recruitment purposes.

The Ministry of the Interior has detected and it is working to neutralize and dismantle a human trafficking network that operates from Russia in order to incorporate Cuban citizens living there and even some living in Cuba, into the military forces that participate in military operations in Ukraine. Attempts of this nature have been neutralized and criminal proceedings have been initiated against those involved in these activities.

Cuba’s enemies are promoting distorted information that seeks to tarnish the country’s image and present it as an accomplice to these actactions that we firmly reject.

Cuba has a firm and clear historical position against mercenarism, and it plays an active role in the United Nations in rejection of the aforementioned practice, being the author of several of the initiatives approved in that forum.

Cuba is not part of the war in Ukraine. It is acting and it will firmly act against those who within the national territory participate in any form of human trafficking for mercenarism or recruitment purposes so that Cuban citizens may raise weapons against any country.

Havana, September 4th, 2023