Alejendra Simancas Marin, Ambassador of Cuba to Nepal
TNW: How did you feel after landing in Kathmandu and meeting people here?
Alejendra Marina: I felt, honestly speaking, enriched as a human being and as a Cuban for having direct contact with noble people of Nepal, knowing the people, history, culture. This make me rich with more energy as a human being. I only have a feeling of gratitude for that.
TNW: What specialty do you find in Nepalese people?
Alajendra: I think they are noble people, labourous people and at the same time they are people who really cheer with us, the Cuban people, their values of the friendship, their value for the family and also their love for their country like us. They love the friendship, their independence and their national identity. And this is something that we admire and we cheer together.
TNW: Is this your first visit to Nepal?
Yes, of course.
TNW: After seeing the nature and culture of Nepal what impression are you carrying with?
Alejendra: The culture of Nepal is one of the most significant in the world. The world should know about Nepali culture Nepali history. I think we can work together to make Nepal more known to the outside world.
TNW: DO you have any plan to visit tourist places in Nepal or climb mountain?
Alejendra: Not this time, I don’t have much time. May be next time I will be going Everest base camp, if not climb the Everest.
TNW: Have you seen any mountain from aeroplane?
Alejendra: Yes, of course, they are impressive. You have the highest mountain in the world. BUt the highest mountain peak of Cuba is just 2,000 metre. So for us the mountains you have here are giant.
TNW: In which area do you think Nepal and Cuba can work together, have coopertion?
Alejendra: We have a very good and excellent relationship, always based on friendship, cooperation and dialogue. We have excellent collaboration, in bilateral political dialogue, the multilateral sector, we both defend the principle of international law, and also we are exploring the possibilities in order to improve bilateral cooperation in the fields of heath, bio-technology. I think these are the reas in which there is possibility that we can identify and work together nd cooperate.
TNW: Currently is there any trade and economic activities between Nepal and Cuba?
Alejendra: No, its very very small in amount. May be a small quantity of Cuban cigar, rum are being exported to Nepal. It is insignificant. We want to expand and improve it and we want Nepal to know more about Cuba.
TNW: What are the possible products that can be exported from Nepal to Cuba and from Cuba to Nepal.
Alejendra: From Cuba, in my opinion mostly the bio-pharmaceutical products can be exported to Nepal. And from Nepal we need to import agricultural products such as rice. Any way we need to explore together, we need to work together in that direction.
TNW: What about exchange of cooperation in tourism?
Alejendra: I think in tourism sector, we can learn from each other. Nepal can learn how Cuba is benefiting from tourism and Cuba also can learn how Nepal is developing tourism. I think Cuban can contribute Nepal with their experience in restoration of cultural heritage and preserving national, cultural and historical monuments. As I understand tourists are very important for Nepal as well as for Cuba.
TNW: What are the main attractions for tourists in Cuba?
Alejendra: Cuba offers different things to tourists. We offer the most beautiful beaches in the world and at the same time, Cuba can offer a lot of historical, cultural and traditional monuments. And also Cuba is one of the safest tourist places in the world, which is also very important for tourism promotion.
TNW: How can you bring adventurists from Cuba to to Nepal to enjoy adventure tourism such as mountaineering?
Alejendra: That would be dream for Cubans to climb mountains. Cubans don’t have experience to climb such tall mountains of Nepal like the Himalayas. We are used to different types of mountains. We have little lower, just 2,000 meter tall mountains. We need to learn more from you.
TNW: During your tenure what are the plans to improve bilateral relations and exchanges between Nepal and Cuba?
Alejendra: We have the full will and full commitment to improve relations and cooperation between our people and governments and between different organizations. We have the full commitment for solidarity, friendship to improve the bilateral relationship.
TNW: What type of political system and economy do you have in Cuba?
Alejendra: We have the political, social and economic system based on socialist ideology in Cuba, according to our own historical and geopolitical experience which provides different kinds of benefits to our people.
TNW: DO you see bright future for Cuba and Nepal to move forward with cooperation?
Alejendra: May be we can have cooperation in medical sector with Nepal. We already have experience to have brought Cuban medical team in Nepal during the earthquake in 2015. Shortly after the great earthquakes Cuba had sent a group of 50 doctors to Nepal with medical equipments to assist in treatment of the injured people. As Nepal had suffered from the earthquake and we thought it was our duty to help Nepal at the time of crisis. It is the best symbol for bilateral cooperation between Nepal and Cuba.
TNW: Is there any possibility of high level visits to take place between Nepal and Cuba.?
We are working on that after nearly two years’ of Covid related lockdown. We want again to resume that exchange of visits. We are working on that but it is very difficult to say now. As soon as the situation returns to normal we will resume that.