Cuba could have transferred more than 14,000 soldiers to Russia in two months

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel shakes hands with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a ceremony in Moscow in 2022 (Sputnik/Sergey Guneev/Kremlin via REUTERS) (SPUTNIK/)

The Cuban regime developed a logistical potential that could have allowed the transfer to Russia of more than 14 thousand soldiers in the months of July and August this year, according to an analysis published after the existence of a network that recruited Cuban mercenaries to fight alongside Moscow in the invasion of Ukraine.

According to the analysis carried out by The Havana Consulting Group and Cuba 21st century, since July 1, they have registered 13 weekly flights from Russia to three destinations in Cuba: Varadero (8 flights), Cayo Coco (3 flights) and Havana (2 flights). These trips were operated by Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 aircraft, which adds up to a total weekly capacity of 5,833 places.

During the period from July to August, a total of 117 flights from Russia to Cuba, which represented an available seating capacity of 52,497. In these two months, a total of 38,407 Russian tourists traveled to the island, using 73.16% of the available seat capacity and leaving the remaining 26.84% free.

Cuba - War Russia Ukraine - Mercenaries - Flights

According to the analysis, The number of unused seats could have provided the Cuban regime with the operational capacity to transfer some 14,090 individuals to Russian territory.presumably military, during the aforementioned period.

According to Cuba 21st Centuryan ideas laboratory based in Madrid, “the evidence points towards a collaborative and concerted effort between the governments of Russia and Cuba to organize a recruitment network of Cuban volunteers who would join Russian troops in Ukraine.”

The Havana version

The regime announced last Monday the dismantling of a human trafficking network based in Russia that recruited Cubans – both on the island and in the Eurasian country – to fight as mercenaries in the war in Ukraine.

The statement was released after several media outlets outside the island, including some based in Miami (the main base of the Cuban exile), reported the presence of mercenaries from the Caribbean island fighting with Russian troops in the invasion of Ukraine.

The Foreign Ministry stressed that ““Cuba is not part of the war conflict in Ukraine”and that Cuba “is acting and will act vigorously” against anyone who “participates in any form of human trafficking for the purposes of recruitment or mercenarism so that Cuban citizens can use weapons against any country.”

The day before, the Ministry of the Interior reported arrest in Cuba of 17 people in relation to the aforementioned network.

Russian citizens wait to board a plane bound for Russia in Varadero (REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli/File)
Russian citizens wait to board a plane bound for Russia in Varadero (REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli/File) (AMANDA PEROBELLI/)

The Cuban authorities assured, based on the confessions of those arrested and the wiretapping, that the network was directed “from the outside” and that the organizers were looking for “individuals with criminal records, from dysfunctional families.”

According to Cuba 21st century, However, Havana would have “helped this private network and then distanced itself from it to build a smokescreen, a straw man, to mask the subsequent sending of regular forces to Ukraine. And such an operation would have been carried out in perfect agreement with Putin.”

Opposition rejection

On Friday, Cuban opposition organizations grouped in the Democratic Concertation Front (D Front) rejected the existence of the network.

The group also demanded that the Cuban Government “take responsibility” faced with the facts and criticized “Russian mecenarism” in a statement.

D Frente, created in 2022 and made up of organizations such as the San Isidro Movement, They asked for an “official” condemnation of the Russian State for what they described as “interference.”