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The damned father of two Cubans recruited for the war in Ukraine

For a week now, Cuban Pedro Roberto Gamuza, 59, has only been thinking about his two sons: one went to war in Ukraine, the other is imprisoned in Cuba for alleged mercenary crimes. His children belong to a group of Cubans who were recruited by a suspected criminal network to take part in the war in Ukraine with the Russian army, the island’s government reported a week ago. This father’s ordeal began on Tuesday when his son Liogi Gamuza Pérez, 34, called him on the phone to tell him that he was being summoned by the State Security. In the security department he was told that Liogi, like other young people, was being imprisoned for “mercenaryism.” “As a father, I have spent a critical, critical week, I am at the end of a week without.” “Sleep,” he said on Monday in an interview with AFP in Santa Clara (center), about 280 km from Havana, where the family lives. The authorities assured that they will take strong action against those who recruit people in Cuba and also against those who receive them involved in mercenary activities. Pedro Roberto speaks a few steps from Ernesto “Che” Guevara Square, where the mythical Argentine-Cuban guerrilla has a monumental statue, a place near his home, located in a populous neighborhood with houses on small streets with gray partitions and dusty roads. “I feel dizzy, my head can’t hold it anymore,” he says, still dressed as a factory maintenance worker in his blue uniform and white rubber boots. – “Victim of deception” – The father does not know who invited two of his four sons to work as soldiers in Russia. Liogi, married with no children, has no military training at all and has never served in the military due to a health problem with his spleen. “He was a victim of deception because he has no papers or passport,” he says. He visited his son, who was being held in state security facilities, and claimed that he told him that he had not signed a contract. Now try to find a lawyer quickly. Authorities reported Thursday that 17 people were arrested in Cuba over what they said was an illegal recruiting operation. Among them are “the internal organizer” of the recruitment and two other Cubans who were looking for candidates for co-optation, as well as 14 others who confessed to having voluntarily joined the military operation in exchange for a Russian residence permit and financial remuneration. Judicial authorities They also reported that they are considering the possibility of initiating proceedings for human trafficking, mercenary acts and hostile acts against a foreign state, which could lead to sentences of 30 years in prison, life imprisonment and even the death penalty. With all this misfortune, Pedro Roberto celebrates that at least Liogi, who was a factory worker, is still in Cuba. His other son’s wife, Robeisi Alexander, 33, told him a month and a half ago that she was in Russia. Robeisi, the father of a three-year-old girl, has not communicated with his wife since then, he emphasizes. The government provided no further information about these recruitments and categorically denied any complicity in these actions. Miami media exposed earlier this month the case of Andorf Velázquez and Alex Vega, two 19-year-old Cubans who claimed to have been deceptively recruited by people who contacted them on Facebook to work as bricklayers on construction sites in the Ukraine to work for the Russian army. Mario Velázquez, Andorf’s father, told AFP that he had not heard from his son for a week and that the last time he spoke to him from a commando in Russia, he told him that they were taking him to the Ukraine would bring. From León, the Mexican city where he lives, Velázquez He said by phone that he contacted the Cuban embassy to get information about his son without receiving a response. He demanded “an explanation as to why the Cuban government did not intervene despite knowing that they were suffering from diseases that endanger their health” – his son has only one kidney – and demanded “evidence that proves that they are alive are”. Moscow and Havana have strengthened their ties since November, when President Miguel Díaz-Canel met Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Two business and diplomatic delegations visited the two countries this year. Cuban Defense Minister Álvaro López Miera was received in June by his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, with whom he agreed on “a series of projects in the military-technical field.” ” /rd/dga/lbc

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