The communist dictatorships of Cuba and China have just signed a new cooperation plan to deepen their commercial relationship around the controversial “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) program. Through the BRI, many countries have generated an enormous dependence and indebtedness with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Cuban and Chinese state propaganda media reported the news with optimism after the Chinese embassy in Cuba officially announced it on Dec. 26 on its website.

They reported that Cuban First Vice Premier Ricardo Cabrisas and China’s National Development and Reform Commission Chairman He Lifeng signed the Cooperation Plan between the two governments to promote the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Both countries had already signed their commitment to cooperation on the BRI program in 2018. Still, they seek to agree on the mechanisms to implement the program effectively under this new document.

The Cooperation Plan aims to boost joint efforts in sectors that will supposedly benefit the island nation, such as infrastructure, education, health, biotechnology, communications, science, technology, and tourism. 

It also includes projects to be implemented jointly in these areas to consolidate and diversify bilateral relations between China and Cuba and other countries that have joined the initiative.

The CCP launched the BRI in 2013 to build purported land and maritime trade networks based in Beijing by financing infrastructure projects throughout Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. 

Over the past few years, many critics have condemned Beijing for using the initiative to “diplomatically” lure participating countries into a system of indebtedness and absolute dependency.

In April 2021, the leader of the communist regime, Xi Jinping, gave the inaugural speech at the Boao Forum for Asia. In his controversial lecture, he admitted his plans to use the BRI initiative to impose on the entire world the CCP’s vision of the rules and standards to be met, seeking to completely displace the United States and Europe as the world’s leading powers. 

As usual, in Xi Jinping’s speeches, it was disguised as kind, optimistic, and even used emotional phrases. Still, the dictator once again showed his dark intentions to bring the CCP to the top of world power in the background. 

“We must not allow the rules set by one or a few countries to be imposed on others, nor allow the unilateralism pursued by certain countries to set the pace for the whole world. What we need in today’s world is justice, not hegemony.”

Hearing these words sounds genuinely ironic. The CCP rules a country that has consistently ignored international court rulings and is internally dominated by an authoritarian and undemocratic political caste while persecuting, imprisoning, and murdering its political dissidents.

Many countries, especially those most in need due to their structural poverty, have had to renounce their sovereign principles after being unable to pay the enormous debts acquired after making agreements with the CCP.

As an example, one can take the case of Sri Lanka. The country has been forced to cede the port rights of Hambantota to China, where one of the main trade flows of Southeast Asia is concentrated. Since 2017, China Merchants Port Holdings, has been in charge of managing the port under a 99-year contract after Sri Lanka could not cope with a debt of $1.4 billion. 

The CCP has also sought to partner with resource-rich countries such as Ghana and Zambia to make them BRI participants to gain access to their raw materials and boost its own economy.

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