Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari inaugurated the cultural extravaganza – Festival of India – 2013 in Cuban capital Havana. Over five thousand Cubans thronged to witness the classical fusion performance “Nrityarupa” that skillfully blended ancient Indian classical dances – Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Kathak, Chhau, Manipuri and Odisi.
Amidst thunderous applause from spirited Cubans, Vice President Ansari accompanied by his wife Mrs. Salma Ansari felicitated the Sangeeth Natak Academi artists on stage for presenting a memorable Indian performance in the land of living legendary Communist leader, Fiedal Castro.
Festival of India-2013 opened in Mella Theatre reflected the growing ambitions of Indians and Cubans alike for closer ties in a world of eroding relevance of political ideologies.
Pressing for immediate restructuring of the United nations, Vice President Hamid Ansari had said, the UN in its present disposition is inadequate to deal with emerging political and conflict situations in the world. Cuba is among the countries that survived in spite of severe economic sanctions from the United States. It is the heartland of Communist ideology that globally weakened following disintegration of USSR, the powerful south block leader during the cold war. Cuba is also one of the founding members of the Non-aligned Movement.
Earlier, Vice President Hamid Ansari was received at the Jose Marti International Airport by the Cuban Vice Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra Diaz. India and Cuba enjoy warm and cordial relations. India was amongst the first countries to extend recognition to Cuba after the 1959 Revolution. Both countries also share similar views on democratizing UN and expansion of the UN Security Council. India and Cuba also support each other’s candidature to various UN bodies.