On a visit to Havana, Cuba, President of India Ram Nath Kovind expressed his interest in having Cuba work in tandem with India to empower developing nations, while speaking to an audience at the University of Havana. Although this was the first time that an Indian leader had visited the country in more than 60 years, it was an attempt to assure Cuba that in light of its recent policy changes, following the era of Fidel Castro, the rest-of-the-world was keen on promoting the socio-economic agendas of the “Global South”. This label is applied to developing countries in an attempt to group them in opposition to most developed nations, previously referred to as “Western” or “The West”. An example of one such association of nations is BRICS, which brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Lauding Cuba on the medical assistance that it has offered to many countries around the world, President Kovind stressed the need for nations like India and Cuba to do their part in securing a better place for developing nations in the “global order”. He went on to welcome the decision taken to hold a high-level UN Conference that was dedicated to South-South Cooperation, which would take place in June 2019, in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires. Before ending his visit, the President of India made a visit to the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in the city, and offered a tribute to both Mahatma Gandhi and Jose Marti, a Cuban hero, both of whose statues had been erected there.