Cuban Foreign Minister: Cubans May Not Legally Participate in Foreign Wars

Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, on September 15 publicly stated, “The unequivocal and invariable position of the Cuban Government, in accordance with national legislation, is contrary to the participation of Cuban citizens in any conflict, against mercenarism and against human trafficking.”[1]

This statement apparently was based on “section eight and Article 135 of [Cuba’s] Penal Code [specifying that] the  crime of mercenarism qualifies for “any person who, in order to obtain payment of a salary or other type of remuneration or personal benefit, joins military formations, or private military companies, wholly or partially made up of individuals who are not citizens of the State in whose territory they propose to operate.” The statutory punishment for this crime is “ imprisonment for ten to 30 years, perpetual imprisonment or the death penalty.”

Comment on Cuba’s Actions in Ukraine[2]

Orlando Gutierrez Boronat, a Cuban-American and the Coordinator of the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance, writing from Kyiv, Ukraine, said it “is not plausible” that the presence of Cubans fighting for Russia in Ukraine is “the work of a criminal network.” Instead, “Moscow is assisted by an implacable enemy only 90 miles away” from the U.S.


[1] Damage control: the regime says It opposes participation of Cubans in any conflict, Diario de Cuba (Sept. 15, 2023).

[2] Boronat, Cuba does what it does best—snuff out freedom, this time on Moscow’s behalf/Opinion, Miami Herald (Sept. 17, 2023).