Two Cuban teenagers claim they have been “tricked” by Russia into joining the Ukraine war.
Alex Vegas and Andorf Velázquez claimed in an online video that they were offered construction jobs in Russia but upon arrival were instead sent to a military training camp in Ukraine.
According to a report by the Spanish-owned América TeVé broadcaster, the identity of the pair has been verified by their parents, who said the two signed up for construction roles in Russia that had been advertised on Facebook.
On setting down in Russia, the teens claim they were told to sign contracts, written in Russian, after which they were sent to a Russian military training camp in occupied Ukraine to “learn how to fight”.
Vegas and Velázquez said they were not involved in any fighting but had been transferred to a Russian hospital after contracting an unspecified illness.
They said other Cubans they trained with were not so lucky, claiming that those arrivals had now been sent to the frontlines.
Both Vegas and Velázquez said they are now unable to leave Russia and that their requests to be deported home have been met with threats of 30 years in prison.
“There were Cubans who received beatings because they wanted to go back to Cuba, in front of us, by the Russians,” one said of their time at the Russia training camp.
Thirteen Security Council members voted in favour of a resolution to extend the U.N. sanctions and independent monitoring for another year, but Russia cast a veto. https://t.co/EnwRuVmGEm
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 31, 2023
Both teens warned their fellow Cubans not to accept Russian jobs being offered online. “Don’t come here,” one said. “This is crazy … you’re going to die here, literally.”
It is reportedly not the first time rumours of Cubans fighting for Russia have circulated in the Spanish-speaking press.
The Spain-based Diaro de Cuba has reported on claims that the leftist dictatorship in the Latin American country is considering sending its special forces to Belarus.
“Cuba’s plans to send its special forces to Belarus could cause a great stir in the West,” the outlet reported Yuri Borysovych Shvets, a former Soviet intelligence officer originally from Ukraine, as claiming.
Cuba has already worked to increase its military ties with the Belarusian Government, with Minsk agreeing earlier this year to start training troops from the Communist state.
Senior-ranking officials from the country are also said to be making ever more frequent visits to the European nation as part of efforts to tighten relations.
The European Union is open to the possibility of deploying troops in Ukraine if and when Russia is defeated, one of the bloc’s top military officials has said. https://t.co/XyVClbjNd2
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 28, 2023