Noting that economic ties between India and Cuba don’t correspond to the “good and long political” relationship they share, Cuban Ambassador Oscar I Martinez Cordoves recently evinced his country’s interest in a commercial cooperation with New Delhi in several spheres.”We have politically good relations. But the question is how we can increase the economic and commercial relations? I would say the economic and commercial relations don’t correspond to our history of relations. That is the reality,” Cordoves said.
He said Cuba is “interested” in cooperation in some spheres of Indian economy, including renewable energy, biotech, pharmaceutical, information technology and software.”We think that our economies can be complimentary,” he added.Pointing out that while “a lot of Indians travel all over the world,” he urged them to travel to Cuba as well.”Just one per cent of the population of India could go as tourists to Cuba but we would not have enough hotels for that. We have to create trust, confidence between the two (countries). We are working in this direction, it will take time,” he said.
The envoy also reiterated his country’s position on its ties with the United States, saying that the relationship can be “normalised” only if “indispensable” issues, like lifting blockade of Cuba and returning of Guantanamo Bay naval base territory by Washington, are dealt with first.He also insisted that Havana is treated “equally” in the bilateral relations with the United States.”We are a small country but we are proud of our sovereignty. Also, there are big differences, political and ideological between the United States and Cuba. We think we can live in co-existence,” he added.Cordoves, however, praised US President Barack Obama for acting “positively” and for being “very brave” to “change” the US policy towards Cuba.