Dossier Cuba 21 No. 6

From Amber to Red alert

It is evident that Putin is still losing the war and needs a psychological blow to project the image of being ready for anything if the United States and NATO continue to support the Ukrainians. The visit of Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel to Moscow[1] (November, 2022) in the midst of the barbaric genocide being committed by the Russian dictator against the Ukrainian people, is tantamount to an amber light of danger in the making. Subsequently, after that very warm meeting between the Russian and Cuban dictators, increasingly significant and worrisome meetings continued to take place.

Without presuming that the same steps of Khrushchev in 1962 will be taken, what is certain is that there is a plausible logic between that situation and the current circumstances. The idea of boldly moving the chips to change the world balance of military forces in one stroke was the logic that encouraged Khrushchev to place intermediate-range missiles in Cuba, which brought the world to the brink of a nuclear confrontation between the United States and the extinct USSR at that time. Putin is not suicidal or crazy, but he urgently needs a bold stroke to dissuade NATO from abandoning the Ukrainians to their fate. He needs to convince them that he really is so crazy that he would use nuclear weapons rather than lose the war.

When Army General Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, arrived in Havana for a “working visit” to Cuba[2] , the amber light immediately turned to red.

I believe that both the U.S. government and the international democratic community should closely follow the perverse logic that could be incubating to create a scenario of blackmail to the security of the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere, its backyard.

Putin needs to be perceived as an irrational actor

As Putin continues his scorched earth and genocide strategy in Ukraine, Russia’s mainstream media continues to misrepresent everything that happens on the battlefronts, trying to make its citizens and world public opinion believe that this is a NATO-provoked war and that Russia is defending its right to survival as a nation. But it is not working for them. They have not been able to hegemonize the global perception of this war.

The sides have been defined. On one side, led by Russia and supported by North Korea, Belarus, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. On the other is the vast majority of the civilized nations of the planet that have condemned the Russian invasion.

In Cuba, the ruling mafia of GAESA[3] would undoubtedly not hesitate for a moment to sacrifice the people in defense of their alliance with Kremlin mafiosi. But they are not suicidal either. It has been proven that the Cuban oligarchs care little about the immense suffering of the people for the sake of enriching themselves, prioritizing the construction of hotels and tourist infrastructure.[4] They could not care less about exposing them to dangers as long as in their stupidity they believe that they will not be reached by consequences.

The logistic facilities of the Cuban Navy and the submarine silos

Putin also needs a possible face-saving card if he has to leave Ukraine (“I could not prevent NATO from approaching my border with Ukraine but now I am also approaching the US border from the Caribbean”). If the Cuban mafia agrees to a request from the Kremlin, Russia would have the strategic possibility of having a rotating naval presence in Cuban navy bases and even by reactivating the old submarine naval base built in the 1970s in Jagua Bay, Cienfuegos. It would be a way to pre-position a nuclear strike capability very close to US territory.

The Kremlin could justify this presence by arguing that these are Russian ships that are rotated to receive logistical supplies at the Cuban base after training in sailing through international waters, exercising their right to free navigation. They would also invoke bilateral sovereign agreements signed between Russia and Cuba to cover these “military collaboration visits”.

But what is certain is that a rotating but permanent presence of Russian submarines or other ships equipped with nuclear missiles calling at Cuban ports could be the possible move sought by Putin.  That would make his threats to resort to nuclear weapons more credible in the coming months if the US and NATO do not stop the delivery of new armaments to Kiev. Russia, with the approval of the GAESA military mafia, could use the Cuban Navy bases and shipyards to service submarines or other nuclear missile-equipped naval means and thus justify their presence just a few miles from the US.

With just one or two Russian nuclear missile-carrying submarines or ships engaged in such rotating trips or “joint military exercises” (perhaps with Venezuela and Nicaragua) sailing the Caribbean, it is enough to keep the Kremlin’s nuclear might in the U.S. backyard. The result would be far more dangerous than the missile bases they installed on Cuban territory in 1962 and the number of missiles carried by those ships could easily exceed those installed on land at that time. Moreover, today’s nuclear warheads are much more destructive than those of the last century.

It is necessary to take into account what seems to be the preliminary study of the new theater of naval operations of the mafia states in the western hemisphere. The navy of the Iranian ayatollahs, allies of Russia in the invasion of Ukraine, is already cruising the coasts of Brazil with the consent of Lula.[5] This unusual fact could be the first probe of how far Washington will tolerate the presence of hostile military forces in its backyard if they are cloaked in sovereign bilateral agreements with governments allied to Moscow.  In Brazil the Russians, with Iranian support, are gauging US political and military reactions to the introduction of a sudden shift in the global correlation of forces originating in their own backyard. Khrushchev’s dream.

At the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine a year ago, several Russian leaders stated that Russia could promote the installation of its military forces in Venezuela as well as in Cuba or Nicaragua. After Russia began to suffer consecutive military defeats and tens of thousands of deaths in its adventure, they stopped openly mentioning the issue of installing military bases in those countries. But surely, the issue was not forgotten.

It is also necessary to bear in mind the possibility of installing SKIF (Scyth) submarine rocket launching silos on Cuba’s island platform, even masked by the Cienfuegos submarine base itself. Skifs can fly at water level and carry multiple nuclear warheads. Those submarine silo facilities for rocket launches entered Russian Navy operations in November 2017 and their rocketry can be fired by remote control from Moscow or, in the case of Cuba, from the SIGINT/GLONASS station that Patrushev himself and then-Russian Vice President Dmitry Medvedev went to inaugurate in Cuba in October 2019. [6]

Colonel General Nikolai Patrushev’s recent visit to Cuba and Venezuela has absolutely nothing to do with commercial cooperation or economic or scientific development projects. Patrushev is the head of Russia’s National Security Council, right-hand man of dictator Putin. His visit to Cuba, in the midst of the preparations for the next Russian offensive in Ukraine, is essentially linked to Russia’s military and security aspects.

As an envoy of the Russian dictator, the visitor comes to collect the favors offered by the “Godfather” to Diaz Canel during his visit to Moscow at the height of the Russian genocide in Ukraine.

It is very revealing how the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina covered Patrushev’s visit to Havana and Caracas:

“The official visit of the high Russian official served to strengthen cooperation relations in strategic matters, official sources said. (…) During his stay in Caracas, the delegation of the Russian Security Council met with representatives of the Defense Secretariat of the Venezuelan Council, in which they discussed cooperation plans and advice on security and integral defense”. (…) “In another message, the Venezuelan president said that at the meeting they reviewed the different levels of cooperation that “our nations maintain in favor of shared development. Caracas and Moscow are committed to the construction of a multicentric world without empires or threats”. [7]

Russia is losing its war of imperialist aggression in Ukraine and is getting closer and closer to a humiliating defeat. This could be the end of the Russian dictator in any of the variants traditionally imposed on its disgraced heads of state in the history of that country since the last century – execution (the Czar), forced retirement to a dacha (Khrushchev and Gorbachev) -, or those made fashionable by Putin himself in this century (suicide, falling out of a window or death by poisoning with polonium or some other substance). It is not for nothing that Putin is determined to make NATO and Washington believe that he is an “irrational actor” capable of pressing a nuclear button. Certainly, projecting that image would be helped by the establishment of a naval military presence in the Caribbean. But, if before he puts such a crazy plan in place to intimidate the West, his entourage concludes that he is playing with fire, Russia’s own history offers them several pragmatic options to get rid of a leader who has become dangerous.

Without control of internal stability in Cuba, a foreign military presence would be fragile

In the midst of all this, it is evident that the concern for a more complex 11th of July turmoil (11J) than the one already experienced in 2021 is shared by the Cuban and Russian militaries. Cuban disinformation agents insist that “everything is under control”. The problem is that they were saying the same thing a week before 11J. The instability is not fueled by the CIA or organized opposition groups but by the growing lack of food and electricity that officials predict will worsen. In October 2022 there were numerous street protests and some threatened to violently confront repressive forces, as happened in Nuevitas.[8] Everything was “under control” in Germany, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and the USSR months before the Wall fell. Everything is under control until it is not.

The play is very clear. If what Russians are now seeking in Havana is granted -the strategic use of naval facilities in Cuba- then they have to also make sure that their Cuban puppets crush the people if they dare to take to the streets again. They are not going to lose a strategic military position close to their main enemy because of the libertarian whims of the Cuban population.

When they were communists, they crushed demonstrators in Prague, Hungary and Czechoslovakia with their tanks with the approval of their local communist vassals. Now that they are all Mafiosi, they work out joint plans to prevent the people’s aspirations for freedom and prosperity from complicating their strategies.

Russia Today[9] revealed that Patrushev met with General Lázaro Alberto Álvarez Casas, head of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior (MININT), to discuss “cooperation in the field of security and threats from the West”.

The meeting discussed possible joint efforts to neutralize the so-called ”color revolutions” and ”destructive activities” which, according to the representatives of the Russian and Cuban regimes, are carried out by those non-governmental organizations that criticize their corruption and autocratic regime of government.

The official note of the meeting published on the official website of the Russian Security Council states that the military of the two countries “discussed in detail the cooperation between special services, judicial bodies, law enforcement agencies, as well as in the field of information security and in the field of elimination of consequences of emergency situations of natural and man-made nature”.

The fact that such a conversation took place and that such assistance was offered reflects the concern of both the Cuban and Russian militaries that not everything is under control. Faced with that reality, squaring up to the Russian officers, the Cuban interior minister likely exclaimed, “Don’t worry Tovarich Patrushev: No Pasarán!”


The new GAESA oligarchs seem to be submissively preparing a move that endangers the Cuban people to satisfy a request from Putin who has invaded a neighboring country against which he is waging an imperialist and genocidal war. The Cuban military must oppose any agreement that would make us accomplices to the crimes committed by the Russian Putinist mafia in Ukraine and expose the Cuban people to greater risks and suffering.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) have the duty to protect the nation from the submissive adventurism of the new oligarchy in its desire to please Putin at the expense of Cuban security. FAR’s mission is to protect Cubans, not the Kremlin. It is not an army of mercenaries as is the Wagner Group in the Russian mafia state.

The Ministry of Interior (MININT), for its part, will fall lower than ever if it opens its doors once again to Russian instructors, advisors and “experts” on how to crush popular protests. It is shameful that this was even a topic they were willing to discuss with the repressors of their own people and famous butchers in Afghanistan and Chechnya. Are they going to install in Cuba a sort of mafia version of the School of the Americas for the benefit of the oligarchies of GAESA, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and whatever new criminal state emerges in this region?

 The justification used by Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro for installing nuclear rockets in Cuba in 1962 was to protect Cuba from an imminent imperialist invasion by its U.S. neighbor. In 2023 Cuba is no longer a revolutionary country and Russia is not communist. Both are mafia states that exercise foreign interference and imperialist interventions in other countries. There is no consensus in the nation to engage itself, in the 21st Century, with this submissive and adventurous logic.

Putin, as a foreign imperialist leader, does not care about the destructive consequences for Cuba of being entangled in his perverse game. Neither does the submissive Raul Castro, nor the mediocre Diaz Canel. The honorable military should be alert and take the necessary initiative to prevent it.

From the moment our patriotic officers learn that the GAESA oligarchs want to offer offensive logistical facilities to Putin to support his imperialist invasion of Ukraine from the Western Hemisphere, they should proceed to rebel and arrest them for treason.

Download Dossier Cuba 21 No.6


[1] Yaima Puig / Alina Perera, “Meeting of Putin and Díaz-Canel: common will to strengthen relations between Cuba and Russia” Presidency and Government of Cuba, November 22, 2022

[2] Granma, “Raúl and Díaz-Canel receive Nikolai Patrushev”. Marzo 1, 2023

[3] When GAESA is defined as the head of the ruling mafia in Cuba, it is not an epithet. See “Cuba: from communism to the mafia state”, January 2023

[4] See “Cuba: GAESA and the collapse of the regime”, January 2023

[5] “Images of Iranian warships docking in Brazil despite U.S. warnings,” 1 March 2023,

[6] Paulina Zelitsky, “Let Them Eat Missiles” July14, 2021, Cuba Insight,

[7] “Venezuela y Rusia consolidan unión, aseguró presidente Nicolás Maduro”, 1 March 2023, Prensa Latina

[8] “Despite increasing repression, in October 2022 there were more protests in Cuba than in July 2021,” November 1st, 2022 Diario de Cuba

[9] “Russian Security Council chief addresses foreign-backed ‘revolutions’ in Cuba,” 2 March 2022, Russia Today