Cuba Rebuilds Ties to Russia and the Communist Bloc

December 4, 2018 Updated: December 5, 2018

Commentary

The West needs to wake up to a dangerous threat. The almost-forgotten enemy of “international communism” is coming back fast. It’s rebuilding, reunifying, and rearming. And most Westerners seem almost oblivious to what’s happening before their very eyes.

Communist Cuba’s new president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, returned to Havana on Nov. 15 after a multination tour that began in Russia. He and his delegation continued on to North Korea, China, Vietnam, and Laos—every openly communist-ruled country except Nepal—as well as France and the UK.

Díaz-Canel was accompanied by Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, vice president of Cuba’s Council of Ministers, along with the ministers of communications, industry, and energy and mines: Jorge Luis Perdomo, Alfredo López, and Raúl García, respectively.

Also part of the delegation was First Deputy Minister of Transport Eduardo Rodriguez Dávila; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Rogelio Sierra Diaz; and Director of Bilateral Affairs of the Cuban Foreign Ministry Emilio Lozada.

Significantly, Cuba’s relations with Russia appear to be returning to levels of cooperation not seen since the Soviet era.

Russian Relations

According to the Communist Party USA newspaper People’s World: “Cuba–Russian collaboration blossomed after the cancellation of Cuban debt owed to the USSR and after President Vladimir Putin visited Cuba in June 2014. In Moscow, Díaz-Canel conferred with Putin, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, Duma leaders, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov.

“A Cuba–Russia intergovernmental commission had already prepared eight potential agreements having to do mostly with trade and investments. Signed by the two national leaders, they’ll remain in force until 2030.”

Proposed collaborations in Cuba include setting up the Russian equivalent of GPS, Russian financial help with refurbishing three electrical generation plants, and assistance in modernizing and expanding steel production.

Russia will also help improve rail travel in Cuba, provide wheat and energy-saving LED lights, and assist in rebuilding Cuba’s struggling citrus fruit industry. Russia will continue explorations of Cuban oil deposits, “estimated to be as high as 20 billion barrels, and build transportation infrastructure and platforms at sea,” according to People’s World.

After signing agreements with his Cuban counterparts, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the press that “when discussing the global and regional agenda, they found that the views on most of the key issues were similar,” according to Cuba’s Radio Rebelde.

It’s time for the West to acknowledge an unpleasant truth. Modern Russia, while not overtly communist, is very much part of a reemerging Chinese-led, anti-Western international bloc.

Asian Relations

In Pyongyang, the Cuban delegation met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, accompanied by the usual over-the-top pomp and majesty typical of proletarian worker and peasant-ruled states.

According to Radio Rebelde: “From the airport slab of Sunan to the surroundings of Paekhwawon, the official residence for illustrious guests visiting the DPRK, Diaz Canel and Kim Jong-un were greeted warmly and cheered by nearly a million people.”

The two communist leaders held talks at the Paekhwawon State Guest House, where they stressed their “shared socialist history and vowed continued solidarity,” according to North Korean state media.

The delegation was following up a July trip to Cuba by the vice chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Committee, Ri Su Yong, who met with Díaz-Canel and former president Raúl Castro among others.

“Ri conveyed greetings from Kim Jong Un, discussed the two countries’ ‘historic relations of friendship and cooperation’ with his counterparts, and signed an ‘agreement on exchange and cooperation’ with the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC),” according to NK News.

In China, Díaz-Canel met with President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Li Keqiang, and Li Zhanshu, president of the National People’s Congress.

China’s One Belt, One Road initiative—the plan to massively expand China’s global influence through investing in major foreign infrastructure projects—was high on the agenda.

“Leaders of the two countries signed agreements fashioned earlier by an intergovernmental commission. They approved a memorandum of understanding that brings Cuba into China’s Belt and Road Initiative, that country’s mega framework for trade and investments throughout the underdeveloped world. [Vice president of Cuba’s Council of Ministers Ricardo] Cabrisas sees the need to determine the ‘objective principles and guidelines’ for Cuba’s involvement with the Chinese project,” People’s World reported.

China also committed to establishing “a line of credit of $124 million to pay for equipment needed for Cuba’s tourism industry and another of $40 million to fund equipment essential for developing renewable energy sources.”

On top of that, China “donated” $129 million to “pay for cyber-security projects.”

Díaz-Canel wrote in a tweet from Beijing: “Fruitful and unforgettable meeting with President Xi Jinping. As Fidel judged him to be, he’s a firm and capable revolutionary. Through tradition and projection into the future, China opens doors where others raise walls.”

In Vietnam, the Cuban delegation met with President Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Speaker of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

The two communist parties signed a trade agreement that would “consolidate, expand, and intensify commercial relations,” according to People’s World.

In Laos, Cuban delegates signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation between the Central Bank of Cuba and the Bank of Lao with the “objective of strengthening cooperation among the banking sector,” Cabrisas said in an interview with Cuban journalist Arleen Rodriguez.

Cabrisas emphasized the comradely nature of Cuba’s relations with Russia, Vietnam, and China: “With Vietnam, as with China and Russia, relations could be categorized as traditional. We have marched altogether along long roads since the Triumph of the Revolution,” he told Rodriguez.

Stopping in Great Britain on the return journey, Díaz-Canel met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and the Labour Party’s socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He also met with British–Cuba solidarity activists and visited the grave of Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery, London.

Communist countries are clearly organizing and strategizing on a massive scale. It is pivotal that Americans be aware of the potential national security implications of these associations.

Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.