Morocco and Cuba restored their diplomatic ties in April 2017, after 37 years of rupture.
Rabat – The Cuban and Moroccan peoples need to know each other better, stressed Cuba’s ambassador to Morocco, Javier Domokos Ruiz, on Monday, February 17 in Rabat.
“We know each other through what the others write about us, but I think it is important to know each other through our own writings and the exchange of visits,” he said.
The Cuban ambassador made the statement following the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Moroccan Press Agency (MAP) and the Latin American Press Agency (Prensa Latina).
The Cuban diplomat highlighted the importance of the press and the exchange of information between the two countries, believing that the signing of the agreement constitutes an operational step towards a closer diplomatic bond.
The agreement is also an important step on the road to strengthening Moroccan-Cuban relations, Domokos Ruiz noted. The ambassador added that the official opening of a Cuban embassy in Rabat will consolidate ties between the two countries.
Domokos Ruiz spotlighted several opportunities for cooperation between Rabat and Havana, especially in the fields of culture, sport, health, and technology.
On the topic of tourism, the ambassador said that the opening of a Cuban diplomatic representation in Morocco will save Moroccans from traveling to another country to obtain a visa for Cuba. Ruiz added that the consulate would provide services to both Cubans and Moroccans.
He expressed hopes that travel agencies will soon start to organize Morocco-Cuba packages.
The Cuban diplomat drew attention to the tourist potential of his country, including “the most beautiful beaches of the Caribbean, a welcoming people, a secure country, and a rich culture.”
Relations between Morocco and Cuba were frozen for almost 37 years. On April 21, 2017, the two countries decided to re-establish their diplomatic relations, following a visit of King Mohammed VI to the island.
Ruiz said yesterday that Morocco and Cuba share “the ancestral history of the struggle against colonialism and foreign forces, and the construction of a prosperous and independent country afterward,” emphasizing Rabat and Havana’s common ideology.
Cuba, however, is a traditional ally of Algeria, motivated by the Caribbean country’s sense of affiliation with Algeria due to a mirrored struggle for independence.
Though, as the ambassador underlined, Morocco also struggled for liberation from colonial powers, Cuba has long sided with Algeria on the question on Western Sahara.
Cuba backed Algeria during the Morocco-Algerian military conflict of 1963 known as the “Sand War,” and for the past four decades, the island has hosted and trained young Sahrawis from the Tindouf camps, Algeria.
While Cuba still supports the Polisario, the rapprochement between Rabat and Havana, and the establishment of an embassy in Rabat, could be a major step towards a more neutral stance from Cuba on the conflict.