Regarding the Cuban Press Release on a U.S. submarine at Guantanamo and the visit of a Russian warship to Havana

(July 11, 2023) The statement issued today, Tuesday, July 11, by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) denouncing the presence of a U.S. nuclear submarine at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay is alarmist and dishonest for several reasons.

MINREX’s angry protest was issued three days after the submarine had left. According to the Foreign Ministry it was there between July 5 and 8, which does not reflect that this sighting initially caused alarm. That would be logical.

From the legal point of view, the event is part of the routine movement of ships in a base that has been legally leased to Cuba since 1901 and whose contract, although repudiated by the Cuban side, has not been agreed to be rescinded.

However, the terminology used by MINREX has been exceptionally alarmist when speaking of the presence of a “nuclear” submarine. The Foreign Ministry tries to suggest with its lack of precision that it was loaded with missiles with nuclear warheads when in fact this was not the case. This is intellectual dishonesty. It is media manipulation.

The only thing it could allude to is that it was nuclear-powered, which today is the norm for all Western submarines in the world. Otherwise one would have to wonder if the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR)  and MINREX are so ignorant of the reality of U.S. weaponry that they did not know that the last diesel-powered submarine – the Dolphin (AGSS-555) – was decommissioned in 2007 and rests in a ship museum in San Diego, California.

Why did MINREX decide to “denounce” so late a situation it considered so serious? Why did it not do so upon the arrival of the submarine on the 5th, or when it left on the 8th, nor did it denounce it on the 9th and 10th?  For the simple reason that this “angry” but delayed denunciation of a common occurrence at Guantanamo is in fact an active measure.

The Cuban regime intends to distract international media attention from the arrival this July 11 of a Russian Baltic Fleet warship that it defines as a friendly sight loaded with humanitarian aid as opposed to the “sinister Yankee nuclear submarine” at the Guantanamo naval base.

What is worrying -as denounced by General Del Pino and Cuba Siglo 21- is that Raul Castro’s regime decided to irresponsibly join our country to a war in Europe -as a belligerent party on the diplomatic, propaganda and now military fronts- of the coalition led by Russia. An imperialist, criminal and genocidal aggression against Ukraine condemned by the United Nations. This is not a common occurrence like the arrival of a nuclear-powered vessel at the Guantanamo Base.

What worries the Cubans is that there are already  FAR soldiers in Belarus and the Cuban minister of Defense, General López Miera, met with his counterparts in Russia and Belarus to plan in detail Cuba’s participation in a war fought in European territory.

What is far more troubling is that the electronic intelligence that has been regularly collected in Cuba from communications in the United States is now immediately operationalized by Russia to its own advantage in the war against Ukraine.

The strategy of lending national territory to “friendly and humanitarian” naval visits of “fraternization” with Russian naval forces at a time when the Kremlin is waging a war of imperialist aggression against Ukraine is also certainly worrying.  Visits such as those of the Perekop ship are in line with the strategy proposed by Raul Castro to Andropov in their conversation on December 29, 1982, which Cuba Siglo 21 published together with the analysis of General Rafael del Pino on the 10th.

The danger is in Revolution Square (Plaza de la Revolución) in Havana. It is good to remember this on July 11, the second anniversary of the national protests of 2021. Was this date chosen for the arrival of the Russian ship by sheer coincidence?

Juan Antonio Blanco
President Cuba Siglo 21