Relations between Russia and Cuba date back to the Cold War era when the Soviet Union (USSR) provided crucial support to Fidel Castro’s communist government. After the USSR collapsed, relations declined, but in recent years have experienced a renaissance. The two countries share common interests, including opposition to US influence in the region. Russia has revived economic and political ties with Cuba, supplying it with energy resources and investment, while Cuba offers Russia a strategic foothold in the Caribbean. These renewed relations pose a challenge for the US, especially in the context of heightened tensions with Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.
Key judgement 1. Russia and Cuba are likely to increase their political and economic cooperation in the next 12 months, especially in the commercial and energy sectors.
Key judgement 2. In the next 12 months, Russia and Cuba are likely to increase, at least symbolically, their military cooperation. With this, Russia seeks to challenge the US sphere of influence in the region.
Key judgement 3. While the Cuban government’s accusation of Russian recruitment of Cubans shows some disagreement between the two governments, it is unlikely to harm their relations.