Cuba–Namibia relations

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Cuba - Namibia relations
Map indicating locations of Cuba  and  Namibia



Cuba–Namibia relations refer to the current and historical relationship between Cuba and Namibia. Cuba politically, militarily and diplomatically supported the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) during the Namibian War of Independence.[1] Cuba provided military training for the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), SWAPO's armed wing.[2] As a result of this involvement Namibia usually supports Cuban policies on the international level, like in the case of the requested release of the Cuban Five.[3]

Since independence in 1990, Namibia and Cuba have held joint meetings every two years for economic, scientific-technical and commercial cooperation. In 2005, it was reported that 1,460 Cuban professionals had worked in Namibia, including 208 in 2005.[1]


Cuba's aid policy focuses on sending medical doctors and other professionals to aid development in other countries, particularly in Africa. In 1998, fifty-five Cuban medical doctors were practicing as part of this aid program in Namibia. Cuba also was home to a number of students from Namibia, both prior to and after independence.[4] As of 2010, at least 2,000 Namibians have graduated from a Cuban institution.[3] In June 2007, The Namibian reported that 11 Cuban doctors sent to Namibia as part of the aid program were trying to obtain emergency travel documents from the United States embassy and move permanently to that country.[5]


In June 2008, Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia, Theo-Ben Gurirab, visited Cuba. In return, Cuban first deputy foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez Padilla visited Namibia at the end of the same month, during which time he met with several high level politicians including Gurirab, Lempy Lucas, Joel Kaapanda, past President Sam Nujoma and current President Hifikepunye Pohamba. During the meetings, each side agreed to continue strengthening bilateral relations.[6]

Noah's Ark II[edit]

In August 2012 it was announced that Namibia was preparing to ship 146 wild animals, including lions and elephants, to a Cuban zoo.[7]


  1. ^ a b Cuba-Namibia Joint Commission Meeting Kicks off in Havana, Radio Habana, Cuba, 5 July 2005
  2. ^ George, Edward (2005). The Cuban intervention in Angola. New York: Frank Cass Publishers. pp. 236–246. ISBN 978-0415647106. 
  3. ^ a b Sasman, Catherine (24 Aug 2010). "Namibian/Cuban relations forge ahead". New Era. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Cuba Uses Humanitarian Aid in Fight for Foothold in Africa, International Reporting Project, 31 December 1998
  5. ^ "Cuban controversy: Namibia doubts US travel papers", The Namibian, 1 June 2007.
  6. ^ Cuban minister on solidarity visit, pledges continued support in Namibia Economist, 20 June 2008
  7. ^ Sarah Rainsford, "Cuba zoo gets ready for Namibian wild animals", BBC News, 21 August 2012.