Russia and Cuba, Beyond Warships

Russia and Cuba, Beyond Warships
Fecha de publicación: 
19 June 2024
Imagen principal: 

While the international media only reports on the arrival of a Russian naval detachment in Cuba, relations between the Russian Federation and Cuba go much further and are strengthened. Unlike the policy of Joe Biden's administration, focused on maintaining the measures of economic and financial persecution against the island, the Russian government works together with the Cuban government, in order to achieve mutually beneficial agreements, which obviously you will not see in the big media.

The arrival to Russia of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, was announced to attend a meeting of the BRICS Plus format and hold official talks with his Russian counterpart; at the same time, several news events occurred that confirm the strengthening of economic ties between Havana and Moscow.

Within the framework of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, it was announced by the Sputnik agency that the Russian deputy energy minister, Evgeny Grabchak, said that there’s an intention to build renewable energy facilities in Cuba.

He pointed out that work is being done on the modernization of thermal power plants and specified that: "with regard to the construction of power plants and networks, it’s above all with Cuba, with which we maintain intense collaboration. (…) in relation to the energy projects that we are implementing, some related to the construction of renewable energy facilities.
Russia will support training of Cuban firefighters

Also at the Forum, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture informed the TASS news agency that that country “has all the necessary resources to expand supplies of products from the agro-industrial complex to Cuba.”

«Russia and Cuba are historically linked by close relations. Not only is political dialogue developing, but economic-trade cooperation is also gaining momentum," the ministry officially reported, also highlighting that in 2023 the volume of Russian-Cuban trade in agro-industrial products increased twice compared to 2022.

On the other hand, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced the signing of a cooperation project with BioCubaFarma, to invest more than 11.2 million dollars in the development of innovative medicines against geriatric, and oncological diseases.

On this regard, the general director of the fund, Kiril Dmítriev, told the press that: “the company BioCubaFarma has become the first partner of RDIF in Cuba (…) investments in the biopharmaceutical industry will facilitate aid to a greater number of patients and will significantly expand the capabilities of Russian medicine.” They also highlight that the fund gives full priority to the health sector and the initial approved financing could be tenfold, exceeding 100 million dollars in the future.

Also, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Chernyshenko proposed the early issuance of Mir cards in the territory of Cuba, which would allow Cuban tourists to pay for goods and services in the territory of Russia and transfer money by card number, thus establishing a direct monetary flow between people in both countries.

«The next stage in the development of retail payments could be the issuance of Mir cards on Cuban territory. Taking into account the great social importance of this project, we propose to begin its practical development," said the official. This could be completed in the very short term due to the recent approval of the subsidiary of a Russian bank in Havana.

Regarding the MIR, it’s highlighted that the Cuban state Fincimex reported the execution until May of at least 67,000 transactions in Cuba since the establishment of the system in December 2023, which means an incentive for tourism from Russia.

Finally and most importantly, the director of the Latin American department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Shetinin, declared that “there’s progress” in the negotiations on the de-dollarization of trade with countries in this region and Russia, which includes most of The Antilles.

According to the note published by RT, there’s a "negotiation process between banking and business entities [...] on the search for the most acceptable and comfortable forms of interaction to ensure commercial and economic ties between our countries."

The conversations about the transition towards alternative forms of financial transactions include the proposal of the use of national currencies or the use of the MIR system with direct payments; the latter seems to be the most promising option with steps of tangible progress for Cuba.

Abandoning the use of dollars in commercial exchange is a strategic step for both Cuba and Russia, due to the application of unilateral sanctions of all kinds to the financial sector of both countries by the United States.

Taking into account all of the above, we can affirm that, while the Western media tries to sell Russia as that malevolent enemy that comes to invade your lands, unlike those who try to impose their interests with bombs, the Russian Federation maintains with Cuba mutually beneficial relations of cooperation and complementation, which go far beyond the simple arrival of warships to this Caribbean island.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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