India’s Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs, Smt. From January 12 to January 14, 2023, Meenakshi Lekhi, MOS (ML), paid a formal visit to the Republic of Cuba. She had never been to Cuba before.
MOS (ML) started her visit on January 13 by honoring José Mart at his Havana memorial at 3 Marzo Park. Later, MOS (ML) paid floral homage at the Mahatma Gandhi bust in a park in Havana, accompanied by H. E. Mr. Alpidio Alonso Grau, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Cuba.
President of the Republic of Cuba, H. E. Mr. Miguel Daz-Canel, was contacted by MOS (ML) to discuss bilateral issues, political and economic cooperation, etc.
H. E. Mr. Esteban Lazo Hernández, Speaker of the Cuban Parliament, welcomed her at El Capitolio (National Assembly of People’s Power), where she participated in the creation of local Covid and woman empowerment vaccines. MOS (ML) informed H. E. Mr. Esteban Lazo Hernández of Indian government policies and emphasized the need to strengthen ties between the two parliaments. H. E. Mr. Esteban Lazo Hernández was grateful for India’s support of Cuba in a variety of areas, including ITEC training, LOC, and UN projects.
Both parties expressed a desire to improve cooperation in development assistance programs, trade and investment, energy, disaster management, culture, health and pharma, AYUSH, and biotechnology during their meeting with H. E. Mr. Gerardo Pealver Portal, acting minister of external relations of Cuba. LiFE, CDRI, the 2023 International Year of Millets, sustainability, and climate change were all the topics covered in-depth.
H. E. Mr. Alpidio Alonso Grau, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Cuba, and MOS (ML) had bilateral discussions during which they both agreed to expand cultural ties through increased communication and cooperation, including in the field of cinema.
India announced its donation of 125000 pentavalent vaccine doses to Cuba during the visit.
MOS (ML) also spoke with the Director of La Pradera and practitioners of Ayurveda at the “panchakarma center” and “Fidel Castro Center” in Havana, both of which were established in collaboration with AYUSH Ministry.