“Our ties are based on close friendship”

The current relations between the Republic of Cuba and the Republic of India date from January 12, 1960, when both governments...

Has there been a growth of Indian tourists to Cuba in recent times, especially after the Bollywood movie Ek Tha Tiger was shot there?

Unfortunately the travels of Indian tourists to Cuba are still incipient, although there is a tendency to increase from the knowledge about the country that has been cultivated among others with the filming in Cuba of the Bollywood film “Ek Tha Tiger”. By the way the Bollywood films are highly appreciated by the Cuban public and there is a weekly program on Cuban television that projects the most famous ones.

The cultural connect between the two nations is very strong. The birth of Rabindranath Tagore is commemorated in Cuba annually. Yoga is part of the Government’s health curriculum. How is this relationship being strengthened?

Cultural relations between the two countries have been developed, protected by the existence of an existing cultural agreement. Cuba is known worldwide for its music, dance, classical ballet and popular dance; as well as by the contagious joy of the Cubans. I think that the direct contact between people and people is an opportunity that offers us, among others, the tourism link and that allows the development of bonds of cultural, educational and sports.

Cuba has benefited from the Technical Cooperation Program (ITEC), in which more than 500 young Cuban specialists, engineers and technicians have trained in India in different branches, such as education, electronics, computing, biotechnology, journalism, training of diplomats and in the textile industry, among others.

At the same time the island has also offered collaboration to India in the sports field through the sending of boxing coaches and in the training of human resources in the health sector. Recently, the Ministers of Health of both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding that includes cooperation in this sector and in other natural and traditional medicine.