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Russia, Cuba Agree on Security Cooperation

  • VOA News

FILE - Colonel Alejandro Castro Espin, son of Cuban President Raul Castro, in Havana.

FILE - Colonel Alejandro Castro Espin, son of Cuban President Raul Castro, in Havana.

Russia’s Security Council and Cuba’s Commission for National Security and Defense have signed a memorandum on cooperation and agreed to establish a joint working group, the secretary of the Russian Security Council said Wednesday.

“The situation in the world is changing fast and it is dynamic. That’s why we will need the ability to react to it promptly,” Nikolai Patrushev said.

A Cuban delegation led by Col. Alejandro Castro Espin arrived in Moscow on Tuesday and held a meeting with the leaders of the Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Russia’s primary external intelligence agency.

The delegation is also scheduled to meet with representatives from the Federal Security Service (FSB), the principal security agency of the Russian Federation and the main successor agency to the Soviet Union’s Committee of State Security, or KGB.

“Russia and Cuba need an effective cooperation tool to respond to sensitive issues. The memorandum may define priorities for cooperation to ensure effective security of both states,” said Castro Espin, who is Cuban leader Raul Castro's son.

Patruschev has been linked in recent years to the rapprochement between Moscow and Havana. In the 1970s, he worked with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the KGB.

Cold War redux

Guillermo Fariñas Hernández, a well-known Cuban dissident who won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2010, told martinoticias.com the intelligence sharing can be seen as "a resumption of the Cold War in retaliation for recent moves by NATO and the United States with respect to Ukraine."

"They [NATO and the U.S.] are now physically close to the Russian border, and they [the Russians], in retaliation, have appeared somewhere close to U.S. territory to compensate for this development," he said.

"Russia will resume its position on the island of Cuba [in order to] influence Central and South America [as well as] the United States itself," Fariñas Hernandez said.

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