CubaBrief: Dictatorship in Cuba tightens vise on Cubans with Communist China’s help driving over 300,000 into the United States since October 1, 2021

On April 3, 2023 the Cuban government signed an upgrade to their cybersecurity agreement with the People’s Republic of China that further tightens controls over the use of social media by Cubans. Havana rejected efforts by the Obama Administration in April 2009 to encourage setting up a fiber optic cable between the United States and Cuba, preferring a cable connecting the island nation to Venezuela instead, and working closely with Communist China to set up the telecommunications infrastructure.

This is the latest in a series of measures taken over the last five years to tighten the internal security vise on the Cuban people, which has gotten worse since the July 2021 mass protests across Cuba.

In April 2018, the Cuban dictatorship’s president signed Decree 349, which required artists to submit their work to government officials for prior examination before being exhibited in public, and it went into force on December 7, 2018. Cuban artists reacted by creating the San Isidro Movement to protest Decree 349, and nonviolently defend artists harassed and jailed by the dictatorship.

Key leaders of this artistic protest movement would take part in creating a song and video that went viral across the world, and despite the censors, inside Cuba. Music icons such as Gloria Gaynor learned of their struggle and drew inspiration from Patria y Vida, and expressed her solidarity.

San Isidro members protest against Decree 349

Over 1,000 new Cuban political prisoners have been imprisoned in Cuba for nonviolently protesting for freedom and the end of dictatorship and communism in July 2021. An unknown number were shot, and beaten by the secret police after Miguel Diaz-Canel appeared on national television on July 11, 2021 and gave “the order of combat.”

The failure of the international community to side with the Cuban people, by isolating and sanctioning the dictatorship as requested by Cubans on the island, has generated despair that has been compounded by Western democracies normalizing and legitimizing the oppressors in high level bilateral meetings.

This has been followed by more decrees further restricting, already limited, freedoms of the Cuban populace, and applying a new draconian penal code that came into force on December 1, 2022 that Amnesty International described as “chilling”.

Front Line Defenders Global Analysis 2022 on human rights defenders at risk provides the following analysis of Article 143 of the Castro regime’s current penal code.

Cuba’s new Penal Code which came into effect in December, introduced Article 143 stating individuals or organizations who receive funding from foreign institutions and who are considered to be supporting “actions against the state & the constitutional order” can be jailed for up to ten years. Social media and the internet will also now be regulated under the Penal Code, exposing human rights defenders to further risk.

This is one of the factors in a historic mass migration out of the island.

Juan Carlos Albizu-Campos Espiñeira  and Sergio Díaz-Briquets in their March 10, 2023 article “Cuba and its Emigration: Exit as Voice” published in Columbia Law School’s Cuba Capacity Building Project they found that “looking at the 15 months between October 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022, the months encompassing this new migratory crisis, and considering the total number of Cuban migrants to all destinations as well as the diverse migratory corridors used, we have 394,070 migrants, 334,430 of which have already managed to enter the United States.”

The situation for Cubans remaining on the island grows more dire.

Sulmira Martínez Pérez

Sulmira Martínez Pérez, a 21-year-old Cuban black woman, was detained on January 10, 2023 by State Security for sharing memes on her Facebook page in which she expressed her intentions to organize a nonviolent demonstration in Cuba, reported Melissa Martin, Ph.D. in her April 5, 2023 Op-Ed, “U.S. Demands Release of Cuban Sulmira Martínez Pérez Unlawfully Jailed by State Security – Let Her Go”  in  The Published Reporter. On March 17, 2023  Sulmira was transferred to Guatao prison in Havana, reported journalist Mónica Baró who cited the 21-year-old’s mother, Norma Perez. Nearing the three month mark of her arrest, she remains in custody. According to her mom, the charges against  Sulmira have changed from “propaganda against the constitutional order” to “instigating a crime,” a more serious charge applied to many July 11, 2021 protestors.  

Political prisoners are also not receiving adequate healthcare.

Loreto Hernández García was detained on July 16, 2021. He had taken part in one of the many nonviolent demonstrations across the island  on July 11, 2021.They dictatorship sentenced him to a seven-year prison sentence in Guamajal Prison in the province of Villa Clara on charges of disrespect and public disorder. According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), “the US Commission on International Religious Freedom considers Mr Hernández García to have been ‘imprisoned for his religious identity, religious activity, and religious leadership role.’”

Loreto Hernández García, a leader of the Association of Free Yorubas, is being “denied permission to receive medical treatment outside the maximum-security prison where he is being held.” Loreto suffers from diabetes and hypertension and “his family was informed by medical specialists that he is experiencing symptoms that may be indicative of pancreatic cancer.”

“On May 29, 2022 Mr Hernández García was transferred to a nearby hospital after experiencing a medical emergency. He received medical treatment there until being forced to return to prison one week later after State Security ordered that he be expelled from the hospital”, reported CSW.

The request for temporary medical leave was submitted by a relative of the Afro-Cuban Yoruba priest on October 26, 2022 along with supporting documentation from medical specialists. Major Arturo Montenegro Sotelo informed Mr Hernández García on March 19, 2023, that the request was denied by the Ministry of the Interior, which is in charge of Cuba’s internal security and intelligence.

His wife, Donaida Pérez Paseiro, is also a political prisoner arrested for taking part in the 11J protests, she is serving an eight year prison term. “In December 2021, she was transferred to a hospital after vomiting blood and experiencing abdominal pain for two days,” reported the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

​ Loreto Hernández García, Donaida Pérez Paseiro and their two children.

The Castro regime has a track record of using the denial of medical care as weapons against political prisoners.

Another cautionary example is the case of human rights defender Sebastián Arcos Bergnes. Sebastián Arcos was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison in 1992 after being charged with “enemy propaganda” and “inciting rebellion.” His true crime was advocating for a national dialogue and documenting human rights violations in Cuba. Sebastian was transferred to Ariza Prison in Cienfuegos Province, more than 130 miles from Havana, where he was imprisoned alongside dangerous criminals and denied medical attention on a regular basis. The regime offered Sebastian a deal in 1993: he would be released immediately if he agreed to leave the island permanently. Sebastian turned down the deal, preferring prison in Cuba to freedom in exile.

Sebastian Arcos was released in 1995 after an international campaign that included his designation as an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience and a request from France Libertés, an organization founded by former French first lady Danielle Mitterrand. After a Cuban doctor was fired for diagnosing Arcos, he went to Miami for further treatment. Arcos was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in the rectum a few weeks after his release, for which he had previously been denied medical care in prison. On December 22, 1997, Sebastián Arcos Bergnes died in Miami.

Babalu Blog, April 5, 2023

Cuban dictatorship signs ‘cybersecurity’ pact with communist China

April 5, 2023 by Alberto de la Cruz

As if the internet were not censored and controlled enough in Cuba, the Castro regime is now partnering up with the most notorious censor in the world: China.

Via Diario de Cuba (my translation):

More control in cyberspace: Cuban government signs agreement with China

The Cuban regime on Monday signed a cybersecurity agreement with China, which exercises an iron grip on the use of social media by its own citizens. The Chinese may have also played a role in the shutting down of the internet in Cuba during the anti-government protests that took place in July 2021.

Mayra Arevich, Cuba’s Communications Minister, and Cao Shuming, the vice-head of China’s Cyberspace Administration, signed the agreement, according to Cuban state-run news outlet Prensa Latina.

“We sign the Cybersecurity Upgrade agreement with China’s Cyberspace Administration, which ratifies the desire to work for a developing cyberspace with the wellbeing of its people in mind,” the Cuban official wrote on Twitter.

However, for both regimes, the wellbeing of the people seems to go hand in hand with the censorship of free expression on the internet. In June 2022, China’s Cyberspace Administration announced a bill aimed at exerting even more control on the use of social media by its citizens.

The new regulation demands all social media services and video platforms to review comments by their users before they are published. It also obligates platform administrators to employ teams of content moderators that “are proportional to the size of the service” offered and to improve the professional quality of the personnel responsible for reviewing content.

The new law also specifies punishment for infractions: users who do not comply with the law face warnings, fines, suspensions from the platform, or even being banned from the service.

Furthermore, it prohibits the expression of statements “disseminating information that disturbs the normal order and that is not in line with public opinion.”

Continue reading (in Spanish) HERE.

https://babalublog.com/2023/04/05/cuban-dictatorship-signs-cybersecurity-pact-with-communist-china/

The Published Reporter, April 3, 2023

Op-Ed: U.S. Demands Release of Cuban Sulmira Martínez Pérez Unlawfully Jailed by State Security – Let Her Go

Courageous Sulmira Martínez Pérez, a 21-year-old Cuban woman, fights for freedom in communist Cuba. Her boldness and bravery are inspirational. 

By Melissa Martin, Ph.D. Last updated Apr 5, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Courageous Sulmira Martínez Pérez, a 21-year-old Cuban woman, fights for freedom in communist Cuba. Her boldness and bravery are inspirational.  

The United States government ruled in favor of the release of Sulmira Martínez Pérez in March, detained since January by State Security after sharing memes on Facebook and expressing her intentions to organize a peaceful demonstration in Cuba, according to an article in CiberCuba

The Havana Times reports Sulmira Martínez Perez, arrested on January 10, 2023, for announcing her intention to protest in the streets, was transferred on March 17 to Guatao prison in Havana, according to journalist Mónica Baró who quoted the 21-year-old’s mother, Norma Perez. 

Similarly, Norma Perez said the charges against her daughter have changed from “propaganda against the constitutional order” to “instigating a crime,” one of the charges applied to many of the protestors of July 11, 2021.  

Read more info at Center for a Free Cuba on Twitter

“Cuba must release Sulmira without delay and stop imprisoning Cubans for expressing themselves freely,” the US Embassy in Havana wrote on Twitter. 

Assistant Secretary Brian A. Nichols’ Remarks on Cuba Policy at the Cuban Research Institute of Florida International University March 7, 2023. Read HERE. 

Excerpts:  

“Everyone in this room is aware that the Cuban people are facing among the most difficult and dire political, economic, and social circumstances since Fidel Castro came to power. Analysts suggest the economic situation is worse even than the so-called Special Period of the 1990’s, and the human rights situation is grimmer than it has been for decades.” 

“That sense of desperation and a yearning for greater freedoms led to the protests in July 2021 – the largest nationwide demonstrations in Cuba in recent history. Instead of recognizing the moment and addressing citizens’ legitimate concerns, the Cuban government responded with characteristic repression, condemning hundreds of protestors to prison with sentences up to 25 years. 

“Unfortunately, in the more than 18 months since these historic protests, the regime has only doubled down. NGOs estimate that over 700 protestors are among the more than 1,000 total political prisoners that remain behind bars today.” 

The legal organization, Cubalex, which monitors cases of political prisoners on the Island also demanded, “The Cuban regime should release Sulmira without delay and stop incarcerating Cubans for freely expressing themselves.” 

What can you do?  

  • Put Pérez, her family, and the Cuban protestors on your prayer list.  

  • Contact your state representatives and speak up for the release of the protestors for freedom.

  • Contact the US Embassy in Havana at havanamedia@state.gov and peacefully voice your support for the protestors. Benjamin Ziff assumed the role of Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Havana, Cuba on July 14th, 2022. 

Abajo el Comunismo! Abajo la Dictadura! Viva Cuba Libre!” which in English translates to: “Down with communism! Down with the dictatorship! Long Live free Cuba!” 

https://www.publishedreporter.com/2023/04/05/op-ed-us-demands-release-of-cuban-sulmira-martinez-perez-unlawfully-jailed-by-state-security-let-her-go/

Christian Solidarity Worldwide, March 31, 2023

Religious leader denied permission to receive medical treatment outside of prison

31 Mar 2023

Loreto Hernandez Garcia

A leader of the Association of Free Yorubas, an independent religious group in Cuba, has been denied permission to receive medical treatment outside the maximum-security prison where he is being held.

Family members of Loreto Hernández García have expressed grave concern for his well-being, noting that he has diabetes and hypertension and that they have been informed by medical specialists that he is experiencing symptoms that may be indicative of pancreatic cancer.

The request for temporary medical leave was submitted by a relative of Mr Hernández García, an Afro-Cuban Yoruba priest, on 26 October 2022 along with supporting documentation from medical specialists. On 19 March 2023 Major Arturo Montenegro Sotelo informed Mr Hernández García that the request had been refused by the Ministry of the Interior, which oversees Cuba’s internal security and intelligence.

Mr Hernández García was detained on 16 July 2021 as part of a government crackdown on protestors who participated in spontaneous and peaceful demonstrations across the island on 11 July 2021. He is serving a seven-year sentence in Guamajal Prison in the province of Villa Clara on charges of disrespect and public disorder. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom considers Mr Hernández García to have been ‘imprisoned for his religious identity, religious activity, and religious leadership role.’

On 29 May 2022 Mr Hernández García was transferred to a nearby hospital after experiencing a medical emergency. He received medical treatment there until being forced to return to prison one week later after State Security ordered that he be expelled from the hospital.

His wife and two other members of the Association of Free Yorubas, an Afro-Cuban religious group, are also in prison in connection with their participation in the 11 July protests. Donaida Perez Paseiro, Mr Hernández García’s wife, is serving an eight-year sentence. The group has a long history of being targeted by the government, in part because of their decision to remain independent of Afro-Cuban religious groups with links to the government.

While in prison, Mr Hernández García has been subjected to humiliating treatment by prison officials and repeatedly ridiculed because of his religion. He has also reported being beaten.

Mr Hernández García’s brother, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, also known as “Antunez”, a former political prisoner now in exile, has told CSW that his brother is unable to receive adequate medical attention inside the prison and he and other members of their family ‘continue to denounce to the world the vicious and extreme cruelty of the dictatorship against [Loreto Hernández García] and hold [the government] responsible for any consequences that their behavior may bring about.’

https://www.csw.org.uk/2023/03/31/press/5977/article.htm?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign&utm_content=ap_klgdibs6ge


From the archives

The Diplomat, August 3, 2021

Features | Politics

How China Helps the Cuban Regime Stay Afloat and Shut Down Protests

Chinese companies have played a key part in building Cuba’s telecommunications infrastructure, a system the regime uses to control its people, just as the CCP does within its own borders.

By Leland Lazarus and Evan Ellis

August 03, 2021

On July 11, thousands of people across Cuba took to the streets, fed up with the lack of food, basic products, medicine, and vaccines to combat COVID-19. They were the first large-scale demonstrations in Cuba since 1994, and the largest since Fidel Castro took power in 1959. Protesters used social media to broadcast to the world what was happening, but the communist regime shut off the internet and telephone services, pulling the plug on their connection outside the island.

The key to the regime’s ability to do so was China. Chinese companies have played a key part in building Cuba’s telecommunications infrastructure, a system the regime uses to control its people, just as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) does within its own borders.

When the protests began, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio tweeted: “Expect the regime in #Cuba to block internet & cell phone service soon to prevent videos about what is happening to get out to the world… By the way, they use a system made, sold & installed by #China to control and block access to the internet in #Cuba.” An article in Newsweek discussing Beijing’s possible links with the censoring of Cuba’s protests noted that the primary technology providers for Etecsa, Cuba’s sole internet access company, are all Chinese: Huawei, TP-Link, and ZTE. A 2017 report by the Open Observatory of Network Interference found traces of Chinese code in interfaces for Cuban Wi-Fi portals. The Swedish organization Qurium discovered that Cuba uses Huawei network management software eSight to help filter web searches. China’s role in helping the regime cut off communications during the protests has exposed one of the many ways Beijing helps keep the Cuban communist regime afloat.

China’s Interests in Cuba

Since the two countries established diplomatic relations in September of 1960, Sino-Cuban relations have been complicated. Cuba enjoys the sole designation as a “good brother, good comrade, good friend” of China, reflecting their shared communist legacy. Despite that common bond, however, their relationship has been complex; the two were on opposite sides of the Sino-Soviet split during the Cold War, and, in some cases, on opposite sides of national liberation struggles in Africa. During that period, Mao Zedong and Fidel Castro verbally sparred over ideological supremacy. Mao accused Castro, a Soviet ally, of “revisionism,” a serious offense within communist orthodoxy. When China reduced rice shipments to Cuba, Castro accused it of joining the U.S. embargo. Following Mao’s death, Castro characterized the late leader by saying that Mao “destroyed with his feet what he did with his head.”

China was also arguably deterred in its dealings with Cuba by the United States’ strong reaction to the Soviet deployment of missiles in Cuba in 1961. The incident, well known in China, was a cautionary tale that suggested that the U.S. would not tolerate China getting too close to Cuba. Doing so would have potentially risked China’s broader goals of building a strong and wealthy state through commercial dealings with the U.S., including financial interdependence, investment by Western companies, and access to U.S. technology.

After the Soviet Union collapsed and Soviet aid to Cuba abruptly ended, China stepped up support. High-level government officials from China have visited Cuba 22 times since 1993; Cuban high level government officials have visited China 25 times since 1995. During a visit to the island in 2014, President Xi Jinping said, “The two countries advance hand in hand on the road on the path of the construction of socialism with its own characteristics, offering reciprocal support on issues related to our respective vital interests.”

China recognizes Cuba’s geostrategic importance. Due to its position in the Caribbean, Cuba can exert influence over the southeastern maritime approach to the United States, which contains vital sea lanes leading to ports in Miami, New Orleans, and Houston. Author George Friedman has argued that, with an increased presence in Cuba, China could potentially “block American ports without actually blocking them,” just like U.S. naval bases and installations pose a similar challenge to China around the first island chain and Straits of Malacca. Cuba’s influence in the Caribbean also makes it a useful proxy through which Beijing can pressure the four countries in the region (out of the 15 total globally) that recognize Taiwan to switch recognition.

China’s Economic Support to Cuba

China helps sustain the regime through economic engagement. It is Cuba’s largest trading partner, according to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is Cuba’s largest source of technical assistance. China’s imports from Cuba initially concentrated on sugar and nickel, including a proposed $500 million Chinese investment in Cuba’s nickel industry that ultimately fell through. The Chinese company Greatwall Drilling (GWDC) has also partnered with Cuba’s national petroleum company, Cupet, in extracting oil near Pinar del Rio, although a larger $6 billion project to upgrade the Cienfuegos oil refinery also never came to fruition.

When the United States began opening up to Cuba under the Obama administration in 2014, China recognized the potential for a more robust relationship with Cuba, and raced to catch up. Chinese firms secured a project to expand Cuba’s Santiago container terminal, funded by a $120 million Chinese bank loan. Chinese biopharmaceutical firms have set up operations in Cuba’s Mariel Free Trade Zone. China has even set up an artificial intelligence center on the island.

In November of 2018, Cuba signed on to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In the agricultural sector, Chinese companies are increasing sugar and rice production, improving irrigation to boost crop yields, and providing tractors to plow Cuban fields. Beijing Enterprises Holdings is building a $460 million golf resort on the island.

Chinese influence on the island doesn’t end there. Cubans are now traveling with cars from Geely, trucks from SinoTruck, and buses from Yutong. The company Haier now sells appliances and electronics to Cuba, including the establishment of a computer assembly plant and renewable energy research facility on the island. China’s Jilin province and the city of Changchun have cooperative relations with Cuban biopharmaceutical companies. Cuba was one of the first official destinations for Spanish-language training for Chinese personnel in the hemisphere. Reciprocally, the University of Havana was one of the first Confucius Institutes established by China in the region. And the two maintain close defense relations, including regular institutional and senior leader visits, and a Chinese ship visit to the Port of Havana in 2016. China has not, however, sold Cuba any significant weapons systems, as it has done with other states in the region such as Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

Traces of China’s “Digital Authoritarianism” in Cuba and Beyond

China’s contributions to Cuba’s telecommunications development were “firm as a rock in midstream,” according to a 2016 article by China Business Network. Cuba’s ALBA-1 undersea cable linking the island’s telecommunication architecture to South America through Venezuela was partially financed and constructed by Chinese companies. In 2000, the Cuban government signed a contract with Huawei to set up fiber optic cables throughout the island. In recent years, as noted previously, Chinese companies like Huawei, ZTE, and TP-Link have further solidified their crucial role in providing Cuba’s internet, including hotspots, telephones, and other infrastructure across the island – the same infrastructure the regime blacked out to squash protests last month.

This is just one example of China exporting “digital authoritarianism” to illiberal regimes across the region. In Venezuela, Chinese telecommunication firm ZTE helped the Maduro regime establish the “fatherland ID card” system, which it used to control not only voting, but the distribution of scarce food packages (the famous “CLAP” boxes), and more recently, COVID-19 vaccines. Similarly, in 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation for supporting the Maduro regime’s efforts to conduct digital surveillance and cyber operations against political opponents.

The shift in the strategic environment in the region, worsened by the health, fiscal, economic, and political strains of the COVID-19 pandemic, are increasingly evident. Leftist authoritarian regimes are consolidating control in Venezuela and Nicaragua. The populist left has returned to power in Bolivia in the form of the MAS party, in Argentina with the Peronists, and in Mexico with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the Morena movement. In Peru, the recent election of Pedro Castillo, a teacher from Cajamarca with a radical left agenda, similarly raises alarm bells. Upcoming elections in the region raise the prospects for an even broader spread of the populist left, including the prospect of victory by Xiomara Castro in November 2021 elections in Honduras, a President Petro emerging from Colombia’s 2022 elections, or the return of Lula da Silva and his Workers’ Party in Brazil’s October 2022 elections.

China’s continued efforts to prop up the Cuban regime matters to U.S. national security. For both good and bad, Cuba is connected to the United States through geographic proximity, historical connections, and family ties. The U.S. government has long focused on violations of the freedoms and human rights of the Cuban people, and continues to work to improve their situation. By sustaining Cuba, China indirectly serves as an incubator of authoritarianism in the region, providing resources to such regimes as they consolidate power, change constitutions, move against private property and democratic institutions, and silence internal dissent.

Cuba could also be an area from which China could gather intelligence and conduct cyberattacks against the United States. Currently, the U.S. Justice Department is investigating members of China’s Ministry of State Security for sponsoring cybercrime and other cyber activities including the recent hack of Microsoft, laying bare China’s malign intent against the U.S. in cyberspace.

How the United States Can Respond

In the face of the challenges posed by China’s support to Cuba and other authoritarian regimes in the region, U.S. policymakers should consider the following:

First, the United States should give more attention to the strategic competition with China unfolding in Cuba and the region in general. As Gordon Chang recently wrote in Newsweek, we must realize that “America… is involved in a ferocious struggle everywhere. After all, the battle between dictatorship and democracy, which is not going well at the moment, is global.”

Second, the U.S. should not try to “block” Latin American partners from conducting business with China. Attempting to do so is not possible in a region of sovereign states with ever-growing commercial ties with China. Indeed, the region has been hit especially hard by COVID-19 and will need more commercial engagement from large countries like China to recuperate. Instead, the U.S. should concentrate on helping partners in the region to engage with China in the most healthy, productive ways. For example, an emphasis on transparency inhibits the ability to engage in corrupt backroom deals with the Chinese that benefit the elites signing the deals rather than the country as a whole.

The United States should involve greater support for “good governance” initiatives, including helping partners to more effectively plan and screen investments in critical infrastructure, conduct technically sound evaluations of public auctions, and strengthen legal systems and enforcement to ensure that Chinese and other firms follow nations’ laws and their contractual commitments. This will partly insulate partners from more predatory activities. Such support will also help to convince local citizens, many pessimistic about their governments, that democratic governance, based on market principles, can indeed deliver benefits, address inequalities, and improve living conditions.

As illustrated by the Cuban case, the telecommunication industry is a particularly sensitive area where China could challenge the ability of partner nations to make sovereign decisions and resist the pressures of authoritarianism. However, the U.S. and its partners must provide viable alternatives to the Chinese systems Washington is asking its partners to turn away from. To that end, the United States should look to like-minded democratic nations and their leading companies in the space, such as Nokia (based in Finland) and Ericsson (in Sweden). Institutions like the U.S. Development Finance Corporation and the Inter-American Development Bank can help partner nations finance such alternatives.

With respect to cybersecurity, the United States should similarly look to increase support to partners in protecting their citizens’ privacy and security from malign actors like China. The cybersecurity training provided U.S. Southern Command to its partner nations could be one part of the solution in this regard.While recent events in Cuba show China’s growing influence in the region, the CCP’s emphatic support of the Cuban regime’s repressive acts also highlights that it is on the wrong side of history. The U.S. must deepen partnerships with Latin American and Caribbean friends, based on shared values, in order to ensure that the region remains secure, prosperous, and free.

The views expressed in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. government.

Authors

Guest Author

Leland Lazarus

Leland Lazarus serves as the speechwriter to the Combatant Commander of U.S. Southern Command, Admiral Craig Faller. He previously worked as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in China and the Caribbean. Before joining the U.S. government, he was an Associate Producer at China Central Television, and taught English Language as a Fulbright scholar in Panama.

Guest Author

Evan Ellis

Dr. Evan Ellis is a research professor of Latin American Studies at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute. His research focuses on Latin America’s relationships with China and other non-Western Hemisphere actors.

https://thediplomat.com/2021/08/how-china-helps-the-cuban-regime-stay-afloat-and-shut-down-protests/