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Cuban-Canadians Accuse Canada of Supporting Cuban Regime that is Aligned with Russia

A group of Cuban-Canadians gathered outside Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland’s Toronto office on Friday to show solidarity with protesters in Cuba who protested on March 17 against food shortages and power outages.

Mr. Taylor Sol told The Epoch Times a day earlier that the group questions Canada’s foreign policy towards Cuba.

“We point to the contradiction of supporting the same regime that’s sending military support to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin while also propping up a Canadian-sanctioned regime,” he said, referring to a letter he wrote to Ms. Freeland on behalf of the group.

In a follow-up email to The Epoch Times the day after the event, Mr. Taylor Sol mentioned that they did not manage to hand the letter personally to anyone at Ms. Freeland’s office, as it seemed empty, so they slid it through the mail slot on the door.

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According to reports by Reuters from last September, young Cuban men had been enlisting in the Kremlin’s military amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, with some joining as mercenaries and others becoming victims in alleged human trafficking schemes.
On September 8, 2023, the Cuban regime announced the arrest of 17 individuals on charges related to a supposed human trafficking ring.
About a week later, conflicting statements were made by two Cuban government officials.

On September 14, 2023, Cuba’s ambassador in Moscow stated that the government did not oppose legal Cuban participation in the Russia-Ukraine war. Hours later, Cuba’s foreign minister expressed that Cuba rejects citizens’ involvement as mercenaries.

Six months later, on February 16, The Wall Street Journal reported figures suggesting Cuban fighters ranging from 400 to possibly 3,000 in Ukraine.

The journal noted that there was no response from the Russian Embassy in Havana nor Cuban officials in Washington and Havana to requests for comment at that time.

‘Sanction the Cuban Regime’

Mr. Taylor Sol’s letter, seen by The Epoch Times, highlights how Ottawa has supported the Cuban regime for many years despite protests from Cuban-Canadians.

“For 65 years, several generations of exiles have unsuccessfully challenged Canada’s indifferent foreign policy towards Cuba, which can be summarized as constructive engagement while ignoring the population,” the letter stated.

“This has been the case regardless of the governing party,” it added.

Canada’s relations with Cuba strengthened after former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau visited the communist country in 1976, marking the first visit by a Western leader since the 1959 Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro.
The letter from the “Cuban Canadians for a Democratic Cuba” mentions ongoing interference and scheming by Cuban authorities against democracies in the region and beyond.
During an interview on EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program in February 2022, exiled Cuban activist Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat mentioned Cuba’s significant role in a global totalitarian movement, noting its intelligence network’s influence over the Western Hemisphere.

“They’re a considerable adversary for the United States and the Western Hemisphere,” he stated at the time.

The letter by the Cuban Canadians’ group urges Ms. Freeland to halt any support to Russia through Cuba.

“Given your Ukrainian background and support for Ukraine against Putin’s imperialism, we ask, for the sake of Ukrainians, to cease backing Putin through his Caribbean proxy,” it urged.

“For sanctions against Putin’s regime to be consistent, you must also sanction the Cuban regime.”

The Epoch Times contacted Ms. Freeland’s office for comments and verification of the letter’s receipt but did not receive an immediate response.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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