Cuba’s Mandatory Military Service Delivers Cannon Fodder for Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Hundreds of Cuban men have enlisted as mercenaries for Russia ostensibly colluding with Cuba’s leadership. With most of the population mired in poverty and the average monthly salary of just USD 17 per month, they are willing to risk their lives by signing a one year contract for a bonus of USD 2,000 plus USD 2,000 a month, residence in Russia with their families, and several other benefits. Russia, meanwhile, gets men with military training for its invasion of Ukraine, and a bankrupt Cuban regime strengthens its alliance with Putin to get desperately needed oil, food and, perhaps, a commission.

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Security Implications of The China-Cuba Alliance

After the Cold War, Cuba and China developed a strong and comprehensive alliance. Today, their collaboration is two-fold. Firstly, the economically-dependent Cuba helps China advance its myriad of interests in Latin America and the Caribbean. Secondly, the alliance meets China’s strategic needs in two broad areas: military-intelligence and biotechnology/neurosciences.

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Pink Tide 2.0? The Same Trap Awaits

The label “pink tide” was already misleading 20 years ago. Today, with even more pronounced distinctions between the left-wing presidents and diverse foreign policy orientations—including some critical views of Cuba—such a generalization has become even more outdated and is by far too inaccurate to categorize a political trend.

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