The American magazine “Time” describes the story of a 19-year-old from Cuba who came to Russia to “perform construction work” for the local army. Instead, he received a gun and was immediately sent to the front. It is estimated that up to a thousand Cubans have already been conscripted into the Russian army.
19-year-old Alex Vegas Diaz found the offer from the Russian army on WhatsApp. Its authors promised good money for “construction work”. In an article from September 18 in Time magazine we read that after arriving at Russia instead of working as workers, the teenager and his friend were immediately sent to a military base. There they received weapons and were sent to the front.
“Time” writes about a recording posted by the boy on social media on August 31, which shows him lying in a Russian hospital. Diaz claims that he came to the clinic after contracting an unidentified disease. He stressed that when he recovered, he was to return to the front.
– This is what’s happening on Ukraine, is monstrous. We see people with open head wounds right in front of us, we see people dying, we feel bombs exploding next to us. Please help us get out of here, says the 19-year-old seen in the video. In another video cited by Time, Diaz emphasizes that “there are dead and missing Cubans here.” “As long as the war continues, it will not end,” he adds. He also appeals to his compatriots not to come to Russia.
War in Ukraine. Russia is recruiting in Cuba
Time magazine says Diaz’s case is not isolated. More and more Cubans who come to Russia to do simple construction work for the army are sent to the front. There are also those who deliberately enlist in the Russian army, knowing that they will go to fight.
According to the American weekly, advertisements encouraging people to join the Russian army began appearing on Cuban Facebook groups in June. September 8, the authorities Cuba announced the arrest of 17 people on suspicion of involvement in human trafficking. They may face up to 30 years in prison for conducting mercenary activities contrary to Cuban law.
The magazine reports that in early September, Ukrainian hackers published the content of one of the Russian recruitment advertisements. The offer, written in Spanish, indicated that the Russians were ready to pay Cubans who joined their army the equivalent of over two thousand dollars a month. “Time” emphasizes that in Cuban reality this is a staggering amount. The average monthly salary in Cuba is slightly over $50. The Russians also offered a one-time conscription fee, also in the amount of two thousand dollars, and compensation of PLN 21,000. dollars for the family of a combatant in the event of his death at the front. You were required to join the army for a period of one year.
Official correspondence of Russian military officials, the content of which was revealed by Ukrainian hackers, shows that at least 200 Cuban citizens have already joined the Russian army. Estimates of Cuban organizations fighting for human rights indicate, however, that there are much more conscripts from their country in Russia – from 750 to even a thousand.
The US Department of State commented on the matter. “We are deeply concerned that young Cuban men may have been deceived into fighting for Russia during its brutal invasion of Ukraine. We continue to closely monitor this situation,” Time said in a statement.
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