Who Would Believe a Regime of Tartuffes?

Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel and Vladimir Putin beside a statue of Fidel Castro in Moscow. (Sputnik Kremlin)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Yunior Garcia Aguilera, Madrid, 5 September 2023 — In the last few hours, several international media outlets have reported that Cuba has uncovered an illegal scheme to recruit Cuban citizens to fight in Ukraine. But the truth is that the regime has uncovered absolutely nothing. It has only reacted — and very late at that — to a scandal that has been brewing on social media for several days. The recent statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an attempt to wash its hands of the matter and provide cover for a dictatorship that has been Putin’s faithful lackey since the start of the war.

It was the influencer Alain Paparazzi who uncovered this Pandora’s box when two young men contacted him to report their situation. Alex Vegas and Andorf Velázquez, both 19-years-old, signed contracts allegedly to do construction work in Russia. Their willingness to move there under the current circumstances is a reflection of just how desperate young Cubans are to leave their country, no matter the cost. Once on Russian soil, they were relieved of their documents, forcibly inducted into the military and transferred to the front lines in Ukraine.

Diaz-Canel is a pawn who thinks he is a bishop. His outward moves seem deferential to Putin while under the table he is playing footsies with Biden

During the Cold War, Fidel Castro also behaved like a Kremlin pawn but the bearded one had his own way of moving around the chessboard. It was he who popularized a Cuban rhyme that might be translated as “Nikita, my little ladybug, you can’t steal what’s already been given to you.” The Soviet leader would later sideline him from negotiations during the Cuban Missile Crisis before ultimately withdrawing offensive missiles from the island. They say that the homophobic Fidel employed his cigars as anti-kissing shields on his trips to Moscow to discourage his Soviet comrades from engaging in this particular display of affection. When perestroika was unleashed, he had no qualms condemning his favorite general to death by firing squad to send and clear and unequivocal message to those in Cuba’s own nomenklatura who were sympathetic to Gorbachev’s reforms. For this and other reasons, the Cuban regime survived the fall of the Soviet bloc. The Cuban pawn knew he was a pawn but aspired to get to the other end of the board so he could become queen.

Diaz-Canel, on the other hand, is a pawn who thinks he is a bishop. His outward moves are deferential to Putin but, under the table, he is playing footsies with Biden. Despite all the pro-Putin propaganda from official media in Cuba, to say nothing of foreign outlets such as TeleSur and Russia Today, most Cubans reject such a blatantly imperialist military invasion. And yet the government has not voted in favor of any of the resolutions condemning the war. Not even the one sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) decrying the almost 1,000 attacks against Ukrainian hospitals and healthcare centers.

The famous Molière character, Tartuffe, is one the world’s most archetypal hypocrites, which makes the Cuban regime the quintessential Tartuffian dictatorship. For decades it has condemned invasions, wars of aggression, annexations of territories and mercenary escapades. But now it finds itself trapped in its own moral back alley. That is why the Foreign Ministry’s statement is so disgusting. It reads like the script for an energy drink commercial.

They are looking for what every nation at war needs: political and military support. In this regard, the only thing Cuba can offer them is cannon fodder

Diaz-Canel has shown no qualms about flying to Moscow to pay homage to his tsar-in-chief. His last visit broke Putin’s near total isolation at a time when even Xi Jinping could not be bothered to pick up the phone. A squad of high-ranking Russian officials have also been parading through Cuba. They are hoping to not only collect on their debts but to expand their Cuban investment portfolio. They are also hoping Cuba can serve as the front man for their interests in Latin America and Africa. And they are looking for what every nation at war needs: political and military support. In this regard, the only thing Cuba has to offer is cannon fodder.

It is no coincidence that Cuba has so many military personnel at its embassy in Moscow. And it is no coincidence that, during a meeting with the head of the Department of International Military Cooperation in Minsk, Colonel Mónica Milián Gómez — Cuba’s military, naval and air attaché for Russia and Belarus — that  let slip a possible indiscretion as we know from her Twitter account. Or that Belarus’ Deputy Defense Minister Valery Revenco wrote that “the main focus of attention the was training of Cuban military personnel.”

So the regime has nothing to do with recruiting young people to go to war? Really? Tell that to Orgon or Madame Pernelle. No one with half a brain would take the statements of such a Tartuffian regime seriously.


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