Cuba Brief: 50 years ago cuban troops covertly invaded and tried to destroy Israel led by the Cuban general now torturing venezuelans. Cuban soldiers enlisting in Moscow’s illegal Ukraine war

Fidel Castro broke relations with Israel on the eve of the Yom Kippur War. This was required for all Soviet-aligned regimes, as the international communist line defined Israel as a colonial state and an arm of U.S. imperialism. Noticias de Israel (News of Israel) provided a more in-depth description of what took place that should raise questions about Cuban soldiers in Ukraine fighting in the Russian army. A secret effort was planned from the highest echelons of the regime in Havana to transfer military aid to Syria. For this expedition, a tank brigade, helicopter pilots, communications operatives, and intelligence and counterintelligence officials were methodically chosen. It was critical that these individuals did not raise suspicions and that they were fully equipped for the mission at hand.

The Military Brigade of Senén Casas Regueiro was mobilized, and this covert plan was carried out under the command of General Leopoldo Cintra Frías, a well-known person in military circles. The soldiers departed Cuba disguised in civilian clothes, with falsified passports identifying them as university students, in a meticulously orchestrated diversionary maneuver. They took separate aircraft to East Germany for a technical stop over before continuing on to their final destination: Syria.

This operation’s surprise led to a succession of enormous losses for Israel, both in terms of human lives and military equipment. During the clash, some civilian areas were also impacted.

On March 31, 1974, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan declared on US television that 3,000 Cuban troops had been transferred to Syria to support the Yom Kippur War. In 1978, The Economist published two articles in its Foreign Report that focused on Cuba’s participation in Syria beginning shortly after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Tank crews from Cuba fought alongside Syrian soldiers. 180 Cubans were killed and 250 were injured, according to Foreign Report.

Combat forces from Cuba stayed in Syria until 1975. Much of this information was taken from the 2020 Spanish documentary by Abraham Rivera on the Yom Kippur War.