Havana, Sep 4 (EFE).- The government of Cuba announced on Monday the dismantling of a Russian-based human trafficking network that recruits Cubans to fight as mercenaries in the war in Ukraine.
A statement from the island’s foreign affairs ministry reported that the Ministry of the Interior “detected and is working on the neutralization and dismantling of a human trafficking network that operates from Russia to incorporate Cuban citizens living there, and even some from Cuba, into the military forces participating in war operations in Ukraine.”
“Cuba is not part of the war in Ukraine,” stressed the foreign ministry, adding that Havana is “acting and will act vigorously against anyone, from the national territory, who participates in any form of human trafficking for the purpose of recruitment or mercenarism for Cuban citizens to use arms against any country.”
In this sense, “attempts of this nature have been neutralized and criminal proceedings have been initiated against people involved in these activities,” it said.
The statement does not specify which people or organizations are behind this network.
Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez said that “action is taken with the force of the law against these claims,” in a message on X (formerly Twitter).
The ministry also maintains that Cuba has a “firm and clear historical position against mercenarism and plays an active role in the United Nations in repudiation of this practice,” and has been the author of several of the initiatives approved in that forum.
It also “categorically” rejected and attributed “distorted” information to “Cuba’s enemies” seeking “to tarnish the image of the country and present it as an accomplice to these actions.”
The Cuban government and its official media have largely used Moscow’s rhetoric when referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but at the UN they have opted to abstain on several occasions instead of supporting the Kremlin’s positions. EFE