The Mysterious Visit of the Belarus Defense Minister to Cuba

The Belarus Minister of Defense, Víktor Jrenin, with his Cuban counterpart, Álvaro López Miera, in El Cacahual, Havana. (Government of Belarus)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, January 29, 2024 — The Minister of Defense of Belarus, Lieutenant General Víktor Jrenin, is on an official visit to Cuba, although it is not very clear why. The soldier has been on the island since Saturday, as reported by his Government, but it was not until this Monday that the official Cuban press commented on the matter. He was received by his Cuban counterpart, the Minister of the Armed Forces, Álvaro López Miera.

“For the Republic of Belarus, Cuba is an important partner in the international arena and a strategic ally in the Western Hemisphere,” said the Belarusian minister in statements to official journalists. The messages spread on the networks by his Government were not very clear: “Despite the geographical distance and cultural differences, our countries are very similar. And we are similar in that we defend freedom and independence, social justice and cooperation equality with other countries. We are similar in that we do not fear difficulties, we do not give up on our objectives. We are proud of the chosen development path and we do not impose it on anyone. In the situation that has developed in the world and in our countries, people began to understand the importance of such simple concepts as stability, tranquility and peace.”

Despite geographical distance and cultural differences, our countries are very similar. And we are similar in that we defend freedom and independence

The official agency does not say a word related to the field of both ministers, but the Belarusian Government highlights in its statement some words from President Alexandr Lukashenko in this regard: “Unfortunately, today military force has become the basis of political relations between countries. Therefore, it is important that defense departments establish relationships that respond to the requests of our people, so that people feel safe.”

Two months ago, the Ministry headed by Khrenin announced that the Havana regime was interested in purchasing Polonez-M missiles from Belarus, with a range of 300 kilometers and reputation for being “the most dangerous artillery system in Europe.” In a statement, they said that the acquisition of the weapons, actually manufactured by China, would be under negotiation outside of a cooperation agreement with Minsk that the island’s military agreed upon during a meeting held in Havana. Cuban authorities, meanwhile, remained silent on the issue.

The Belta agency affirmed in those days that this arms purchase was part of a bilateral plan that would be executed starting this year.


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