After the massive July 11 freedom protests against Cuba’s socialist dictatorship, attention has turned to how the communist Cuban regime oppresses its citizens, and peaceful anti-regime protests. In this case, how communist China is helping its like-minded Cuban state security apparatus violently crush democratic dissent.
Last week, the independent news outlet ADN Cuba (unrelated to America Defense News) published photos showing members of Cuba’s “black beret” state security forces training alongside the Chinese People’s Armed Police (PAP) in Cuba. The various photos show Cuban black berets and what appear to be Chinese paramilitary soldiers marching together, posing in front of flags, and holding Russian made heavy machine guns and Dragunov sniper rifles.
According to ADN Cuba, “the PAP training [of Cuban forces] began 6 years ago with specialization courses, sniper preparation and intervention tactics.”
Fotos obtenidas por ADN Cuba evidencian que la Brigada Especial Nacional (BEN), entrenada para reprimir a la ciudadanía, recibió preparación del grupo paramilitar Fuerza de Policía Armada del Pueblo Chino (PAP), involucrado en las protestas de Hong Kong. https://t.co/ve3DxW4Eq7
— ADNCuba (@CubaAdn) July 30, 2021
Cuba’s notorious ‘black berets’ are elite shock troops of the Special National Brigade (SNB) created in 1980, under the Cuban Ministry of Interior (MININT). They were recently sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department and its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) due to human rights abuses committed during its crackdown on protests in July.
In Spanish they are known as BEN.
President Biden said his administration targeted Cuba’s Defense Minister, Lopez Miera and the SNB — because they were “driving the crackdown” against protesters who took to the streets by the thousands in rare public anti-government demonstrations.
According to the Treasury Department, Cuba’s defense ministry and security services violently attacked people and “arrested or disappeared over 100 protesters in an attempt to suppress these protests.”
In the days following the initial July 11 protests, black beret storm troopers were filmed in violent door-to-door raids dragging civilians out of their homes. In one bloody raid, a family filmed black berets smashing into a house with an attack dog, and beating and shooting an unarmed man in his living room, in front of his panicked wife and toddler children.
Watch the video (which is graphic and age restricted) HERE:
Chinese state media has previously admitted that the PAP has for many years sent delegations to over 30 countries for bilateral or multilateral “counter-terrorism” exchanges, including Cuba. In a special 2009 report marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the state-run China Daily noted the paramilitary interactions between the PAP and Cuba.
Unlike the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the PAP focuses primarily on domestic “social stability” missions. China Daily listed among the PAP’s responsibilities to “protect important targets, disperse illegal assemblies … nip illegal activities and criminal offenses in the bud, hunt down criminal suspects….”
However, among the first major reforms that current Chinese dictator Xi Jinping undertook after taking power in 2013 was to transform the PAP more fully into a military force. It now reports directly to the Central Military Commission of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and to Chairman Xi himself, and is also tasked as a sort of reserve force for the PLA.
In the past several years the PAP has deployed to repress ethnic Tibetans and Uyghur people in East Turkestan, the occupied region China refers to as Xinjiang, but have also been more recently and ominously been sent to Hong Kong after China absorbed the formerly semi-autonomous and democratic city.
And now we know, they are also training Cuban communists in repression.
While the ADN Cuba report did not date the photos of the alleged training it identified them as having been taken on a military base on the outskirts of Havana province:
The exchange took place at the Punto Cero military maneuvering field in Guanabo, 25 kilometers east of Havana. In addition to that enclave, the BEN conducts training at its headquarters, military unit 8954, located in the San Miguel del Padrón municipality.