Friends Of Cuba Boost Cultural Exchanges
MELAKA, April 21 (Bernama) -- The Friends of Cuba Association Malaysia (FOCAM) is set to boost cultural exchanges between the two countries, which have had diplomatic relations for the past 35 years.
The Cuban ambassador to Malaysia, Carlos A. Amores, said Casa Cuba, a gallery launched in 2007 here to exhibit Cuban culture, would help FOCAM boost cultural exchanges between the two countries.
"Besides cultural exchanges, the organisation aims to promote friendship and trade," he said at the Melaka launch of FOCAM in Casa Cuba, Bukit Peringgit here, Thursday.
The launch was presided over by Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, and attended by the Ecuadorian ambassador to Malaysia, Lourdes Puma Puma; the Iraqi ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Amal Mussa Hussain; the Fijian High Commissioner to Malaysia, Suliasi Lutubula; Russian Ambassador Vorobyeva Lyudmila Georgievna and Jose Soares Junior, Charge d'Affaires of Brazil.
Amores said the excellent political relationship between Malaysia and Cuba was based on brotherly friendship and close cooperation in issues raised by international organisations, besides shared interests on international concerns.
"FOCAM has been introduced to make this friendship closer and deeper, and to bring to Malaysians the culture of Cuba. It also aims to promote closer economic relations for the benefit of both countries," he said.
He said that to promote FOCAM outside Kuala Lumpur, the embassy chose Melaka because the state has been successful in promoting its traditional culture globally, especially to tourists.
He pointed out that Melaka received more than nine million tourists last year. By combining FOCAM's efforts to promote cultural exchanges and Melaka's efforts to promote tourism, both parties would benefit, he said.
Meanwhile, Mohd Ali hoped that the FOCAM launch would be the first of several activities to be held in Melaka by the Cuban embassy. He also looked forward to cooperative ventures between Melaka and Cuba through FOCAM.
"We are looking to send several of Melaka's scientists and doctors to Cuba to learn and serve there. We are also looking forward to Cuban scientists and doctors serving here. We can conduct such exchange programmes in the future," he said.
FOCAM was launched by the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, on Oct 12 last year in Kuala Lumpur. Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir serves as its current president.