CubaBrief: Castro regime backs Russian attempt to silence Ukraine’s Zelensky at the UN. Russian propagandist calls for Cuban soldiers to join war on Ukraine

Vladimir Putin’s attacks against Georgia in 2008, Crimea in 2014 and the eight years long low intensity war in the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine, and the February 24, 2022, multipronged Russian invasion of Ukraine were all acts of aggression in violation of international law. These Russian aggressions in 2008, 2014 and now in 2022 were all backed by Cuba. Bruno Rodríguez, the Cuban government’s foreign minister, on Putin’s invasion of Ukraine said that Russia “has the right to defend itself.”

Cuba continues to back the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the international stage.

The UN General Assembly on September 16, 2022 voted to allow Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to deliver a pre-recorded address next week at the UN General Assembly, reported the Associated Press.  Normally, all leaders need to speak in person, but an exception is being made because of the ongoing Russian invasion. 101 countries voted for Zelensky to be able to deliver the pre-recorded statement. 19 nations abstained, including China. Cuba was one of the seven countries voting “no” together with Belarus, Eritrea, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria, and Russia.

This backing of Russian aggression has not gone unnoticed in Moscow, and under desperate circumstances more is being asked of Havana.

Express‘s Sophia Mencarelli reported on September 15, 2022 that “Russian top propagandist Vladimir Solovyov urged for the establishment of an international coalition with countries” that included Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria, Serbia, and Venezuela for its war against Ukraine.

Cuban independent journalist Yoani Sanchez on February 26, 2022 reported on how the official Cuban press echoes Russian propaganda describing Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as a “demilitarization.” At the same time that Havana passes restrictions on Cubans using social media, the Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez criticizes Western Democracies shutting down Russian propaganda channels such as RussiaToday.

Havana’s continued support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exposed the hypocrisy of the Castro regime’s anti-imperialism, and it’s terrible human rights record. The Washington Diplomat on March 7, 2022 published an article by Larry Luxner titled “Cuban envoy justifies mass arrests, internet limits; waffles on Ukraine”, drawing more scrutiny from unexpected quarters.

American University Professor Philip Brenner, in a March 3rd webinar with Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera, the Castro regime’s ambassador in Washington D.C. since January 2021, “challenged the ambassador to explain why Cuba chose to abstain rather than support the March 2 resolution at the United Nations General Assembly condemning Russia for its bloody invasion of Ukraine. The resolution passed overwhelmingly, with 141 countries voting in favor, five against and 35 (including Cuba) abstaining.” Ambassador Torres Rivera gave a long and incoherent reply but “she never actually said why Cuba abstained. Instead, she rambled on about how “we have always opposed the use of force against any country.”

The Cuban diplomat’s incoherence is understood, but not the continuing status quo of the European Union, and the United States towards Havana as it backs the criminal invasion of Ukraine, together with other states terror sponsors: Iran, Syria, and North Korea and their client states Nicaragua and Venezuela.

WION, September 17, 2022

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky allowed to give virtual speech at UNGA

Edited By: Anamica Singh New York Updated: Sep 17, 2022, 07:02 PM(IST)

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 24, 2022 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appears on screen as he addresses the UN Security Council Meeting on the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine on August 24, 2022 at UN headquarters in New York. Photograph:( AFP )

The UN General Assembly voted Friday to allow Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to deliver a pre-recorded address to next week’s gathering of world leaders, Associated Press reported. The UNGA mandates all leaders to speak in person, but an exception was made because of his need to deal with Russia’s invasion. 

The virtual address was approved by a vote of 101-7 with 19 abstentions including China. The seven countries voting “no” were Belarus, Cuba, Eritrea, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia and Syria. The document that was approved expresses concern that leaders of “peace-loving” UN sovereign nations can’t participate in person “for reasons beyond their control owing to ongoing foreign invasion, aggression, military hostilities that do not allow safe departure from and return to their countries, or the need to discharge their national defense and security duties and functions”.

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Ukraine proposed the document that had more than 50 co-sponsors. It permits Zelensky to submit a pre-recorded statement to be played in the General Assembly hall. It stresses that this will not set a precedent for future high-level assembly meetings.

Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya was happy that the assembly will have a chance to hear directly from Zelensky “about how he sees the end of this war and how he evaluates the impact of this war on global affairs and on the United Nations in particular”.

In an interview with Associated Press, he expressed gratitude that 101 UN member nations gave such strong support to hearing from Zelensky. He added that it was “pathetic” that Russia mustered only six other countries to oppose his speech.

Kyslytsya said Zelensky was scheduled to address the assembly Wednesday afternoon.

(With inputs from agencies)

Express, September 15, 2022

Putin’s puppets outline desperate plot Russia should consider as defeat fears grow

Russian state TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov outlined some steps the Russian Government should take against Ukraine as fears of a possible Russian defeat grow within the Kremlin.

By Sophia Mencarelli

14:51, Thu, Sep 15, 2022 | UPDATED: 14:53, Thu, Sep 15, 2022

Russian top propagandist Vladimir Solovyov urged for the establishment of an international coalition with countries such as Serbia, North Korea, and Iran for its war against Ukraine. Solovyov defined the coalition as “necessary” for Russia as he challenged NATO and questioned why Russia should “deny themselves that pleasure” of being part of a coalition.

Vladimir Solovyov said: “I also consider it necessary for us to create an international coalition.

“I don’t understand why the Americans always cobble together an international coalition.

“Why are we denying ourselves that pleasure?”

He continued: “There are units in Syria very well trained by us, there are people in Africa who support us.

“There’s Venezuela, there’s Nicaragua, there’s Cuba, there’s Iran and North Korea.

“If volunteers from all over the world are going and fighting in the DPR corps, why shouldn’t we give them the opportunity to organise and create an international corps?

“Dating back to the era of the war against fascism in Spain, when for the first time the International Brigades came up against Nazi Germany which was fighting on the side of Franco, that practice has existed.”

The presenter concluded: “Why should we stop people who want to take up arms and go?

“Why should we stop our Serbian brothers? Some of them are fighting now anyway in the DPR corps. That’s my layman’s option”.

BBC correspondent Francis Scarr, who posted the clip on Twitter, commented: “Russian state TV’s Vladimir Solovyov says his country should form an international coalition for its war in Ukraine including Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Nicaragua”.

The clip sparked reactions on the platform, with users warning that such move from Russia could possibly lead to a major escalation of the war, including a WW3.

User @F_J_MacGregor wrote: “Right, so they are actually planning WW3”.

@MadeInTheUSANJ commented: “That’s called World War III”.

The claims from the Russian host came as latest reports from Ukraine reveal that the Ukrainian forces are making substantial territorial achievements amid their counter-offensive to retake control over the Russian-occupied Kharkiv region.

Ukraine’s ministry of defence said since the beginning of the counter-offensive last week

Ukrainian forces have recaptured more than 3,800sq km of the Russian-occupied territory.

Speaking in his national address on Wednesday, Ukraine President Zelensky said his forces were moving “towards victory” and added that “stabilisation measures” have been put in place in liberated villages.