India Cuba Relations

India has been one of the nations which have supported and recognised Cuba since the Cuban revolution in 1959. Both these countries share traditionally warm relations over politics, economy and culture. In foreign foras, NAM and WTO, India and Cuba relations are close.

This article discusses India Cuba relations on political, cultural, and economic aspects in the context of the IAS Exam.

The candidates can go through the relevant topics useful for their upcoming exams from the links provided below:

India – United States Relations

India-China Relations

India-Nepal Relations

India – Sri Lanka Relations

India – Myanmar Relations

India – Africa Relations

Bilateral Relations between India and Cuba

The political, economic cultural relations and India’s foreign aid to Cuba are discussed below:

Political Relations

  • Since the Cuban revolution in 1959, India recognised Cuba and ministers from both countries had paid regular visits. Following the revolution, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, welcomed revolutionary leader Che Guevara when he visited India for 2 weeks. Nehru even presented Guevara an iron handled khukri in a walnut scabbard, which is now preserved at the Centro de Estudios Che Guevara in Havana.
  • After six months of Guevara’s visit to India, India opened its embassy in Havana in 1960. Similarly, Cuba has its embassy in New Delhi.
  • Cuba has supported India’s permanent candidature in a restructured UN Security Council. On the other hand, India has consistently supported Cuba in the UN General Assembly against the US and has asked the US to uplift US sanctions against Cuba.
  • Cuba joined an India-France initiative, as well, called International Solar Alliance.

Economic Relations

  • India exports a few commodities to Cuba, including organic chemicals, pharmaceutical products, mechanical appliances and machinery, and plastic and rubber articles.
  • The main items that are exported from Cuba to India include leather, raw hides and skins and tobacco products like cigars.
  • In the 1980s, bilateral trade around Cuba and India was estimated at around US$300 million. However, there was a sharp decline in the economy after India’s economic liberalisation in the 1990s and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
  • During the President’s visit to Cuba in 2019, both countries have shook hands on collaborating in the areas of Homoeopathy, the traditional medicine system, and Biotechnology.

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Indian Foreign Aid

  • During 1992, when Cuba was undergoing a crisis, India provided Cuba with 10,000 tonnes of rice and wheat. This donation was termed ‘Bread of India’ by Fidel Castro since it was sufficient to provide 1 loaf of bread for all Cubans.
  • India paid off a $62 million loan interest that India provided to the Cuban Government in 2008.
  • Due to the aftermath of hurricanes Gustav, lke, and Paloma in 2008, India provided $2million in cash to Cuba. India also donated 2 million dollars during the Cuban earthquake.
  • In 1995 not only did India provide a 5KW solar power plant but also provided its spare parts worth 5 lakh rupees.
  • India provided 60 tractors filled with medicines, medical equipment and accessories to Cuba in 2019.
  • NIIT provided a three-year training programme to over 1900 Cuban citizens in several fields, which wrapped up in July 2010.

Cultural Relations

  • Cubans have an interest in Vipassana meditation and Yoga. They also have an increasing interest in Indian naturopathy and Ayurveda.
  • The Indian Council for Cultural Relations donated a bust of Rabindranath Tagore, which was unveiled in Havana on 7th May 2007. Since then, Rabindranath Tagore’s birthday has been celebrated by Cubans every year.
  • Cuba also celebrated Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, International day of Yoga and Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.

Indian Citizens in Cuba

  • Indians have been residing in Cuba since the early 20th century. People of Indian origin came to Cuba from Jamaica and other parts of West Indies to work on sugarcane plantations. They mostly live in Guantanamo province in East Cuba. An estimated 200 citizens in Cuba are of Indian origin. The community is small, comprising one Indian restaurant in Havana, one medical student, and sisters from Mother Teresa Missionary of Charity.
  • Although India and Cuba have remained on good terms for several years and have a strong political connection, there is room for improvement in their commercial and economic field. This is all for India Cuba Relations.

Aspirants can visit the linked article and get details about the upcoming government exams that comprise current affairs and general awareness as an important topic in the syllabus.

Frequently Asked Questions about India – Cuba Relations


What language do Cubans speak?

Cubans speak in Spanish.


What is the capital of Cuba?

The capital city of Cuba is Havana.


What is the main religion practised in Cuba?

The main religion followed in Cuba is Roman Catholicism.

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