Update: The Cuban government denies these reports.
The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies has received information that General Leopoldo Cintra Frias, Head of the Cuban Armed Forces, visited Syria recently leading a group of Cuban military personnel sent by Cuba in support of Syria’s dictator Assad and Russian involvement in that country.
The Cuban military contingent will be primarily deployed in Syria manning Russian tanks provided to Assad by the Russians.
“An Arab military officer at the Damascus airport reportedly witnessed two Russian planes arrive there with Cuban military personnel on board. When the officer questioned the Cubans, they told him they were there to assist Assad because they are experts at operating Russian tanks, according to Jaime Suchlicki, the institute’s executive director,” reports Fox News.
As well as providing expertise in their assigned task, the Cubans enter the war with two other “advantages”: they don’t speak Arabic and thus won’t be exposed to dispiriting battlefield accounts from their Syrian counterparts, and prior to their arrival in Syria they almost certainly had no access to YouTube (Cuba has very limited broadband internet access) so may not be aware of the high toll American-made anti-tank missiles have taken in recent weeks.