Spanish – The Cuban regime sees Colombia as its next political target. A leftist presidency would assure the Castro dictatorship a strategic position in the region, right next to Venezuela with its ally Nicolás Maduro, as well as accessibility to borders and terrorist organizations.
For this reason, it would be planning to interfere in the presidential elections of 2022. An investigation published by Semana reveals the Cuban plan that would be supported by Russia and Venezuela.
The discovery was made by a document leaked from the Presidency. It warns of the plan to move the balance in the elections and destabilize the country. They also detected suspicious activities of Cuban officials on Colombian soil.
One of the persons mentioned is José Luis Ponce Caraballo, Cuban Ambassador to Colombia. Coincidentally, in 1996, he was accused and expelled from the United States for espionage.
The Cuban strategy
The text details that the strategy is executed by Cubans with diplomatic coverage in social solidarity organizations. They are also filtered through cooperation programs with local authorities and their financing through the National Liberation Army (ELN), a leftist Colombian terrorist organization.
To complete the plan, a candidate for the next elections would be sympathetic to the Castro regime, although the article does not mention the name.
The investigation mentions Fernando González Llort and Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, ironically both of whom were part of The Wasp Network, the espionage network that Cuba implemented in the US in the late 1990s. González spent more than 17 years in prison; Hernández received two life sentences of 15 years each but was released because of the 2014 prisoner exchange arrangement with the United States.
Despite the reprimand, both would have returned to their exploits. Semana adds that the interference activities would be camouflaged by the legal work of the Colombian Movement of Solidarity with Cuba (MCSC).
The MCSC has a close relationship with the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), directed by none other than Fernando González Llort.
For years, other Colombian political figures have warned of Cuban interference. Former President Andrés Pastrana demanded in 2018 that the government of Juan Manuel Santos inform “whether or not there is a plan with foreign interference by the governments of Venezuela and Cuba to assassinate former President Uribe,” reported Radio Television Martí.
The tension between Colombia and Cuba
Relations between Colombia and Cuba are strained. In Havana, leaders of the ELN are sheltered in connection with an attack on the General Santander Cadet School in 2019, which left more than 20 dead people.
The event was decisive for Cuba to return to the list of sponsors of terrorism drawn up by the United States. The US government decided because of Cuba’s refusal to hand them over to Colombian authorities.
Since the attack, the dialogue table between the ELN and the government of Iván Duque was broken. The leaders of the terrorist group took refuge in Havana under the protection of protocols signed during the talks, where it was stated that the guerrillas would have 72 hours to take refuge without being arrested.
Putin and Maduro’s interest
There is one factor that cannot be overlooked. The desire that Russia and Venezuela have together with Cuba to achieve control of Colombia.
First, there is the destabilization of the region. Soon, there will be elections in Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. If the left achieves any victory, the takeover of Colombia would be crucial to consolidate itself.
Semana also cites the espionage that Russia, Venezuela, and Cuba maintain in that part of the world with information exchange. “Among the most worrying data is the location of several radio electric stations by Russia in the Colombian-Venezuelan border,” explains the publication.
The country now governed by Iván Duque becomes a trophy that this triangulation of countries is willing to achieve. If they succeed, they would be armored geographically, a clear danger for that part of the world.