On 22 September 1921, Estonia was accepted into the League of Nations—Cuba voted in favour of this decision, which meant recognising Estonia de jure. Cuba once again recognised Estonia’s independence on 9 September 1991 and diplomatic relations were established on 12 November 1991.
During Estonia’s first period of independence, our honorary consul in Havana was Mr. Emilio de Soto Sagarra.
The Cuban ambassador is Enrique Orta Gonzalez, who presented his credentials to the President of the Republic on 12 December 2012.
From 1994-1995 Cuba was represented in Estonia by Ambassador Jorge Marti Martinez, who initially resided in Helsinki and later in Riga. From Riga Cuba covered Finland, Latvia and Estonia.
Since 1999 Cuba has once again covered Estonia from Helsinki. Until the fall of 2007 the representation was led by charges d’affaires ad interim Francisco Florentino. Ambassador Sergio González González presented his credentials on 20 March 2008.
To date trade has been quite uneven in terms of turnover, but the main articles of trade have remained more or less the same.
From 2010-2012 Estonian export to Cuba was 0.7-1.4 million euros, which made up 0.1% of total exports. The primary articles of export in these years were electrical appliances and equipment and rubber and rubber products.
From 2010-2012, import ranged from 0.3-2.3 million euros. During these years the primary articles of import were tobacco and tobacco products and to a small extent also coffee. In 2012 mineral products totalling nearly 1.9 million euros in value were imported.
Estonia-Cuba trade 2007-2012 (million euros):
|Exports (million EUR)||Imports (million EUR)|
Source: Statistics Estonia
Primary articles of export to Cuba in 2012:
- Machinery and equipment (mainly electrical appliances and equipment) – 63.8%
- Rubber and rubber products – 29.9%
Primary articles of import from Cuba in 2012:
- Mineral products – 81.9%
- Tobacco and tobacco products – 17.5%
- Coffee, tea, and spices – 0.5%
According to Bank of Estonia data, as of 30 September 2012 there were no direct investments between Estonia and Cuba.
Cuba is becoming an increasingly interesting destination for Estonian tourists. Many Estonian travel agencies organise trips to Cuba and put together various packages for individual travellers. In order to travel to Cuba an Estonian must apply for a tourism card, which he or she will receive through the travel agency. Cuba recognise the travel documents of persons with undefined citizenship.
In Estonia there is an Estonia-Cuba Friendship Society that was founded in 1999 as a non-political association with the goal of promoting cultural exchange and tourism. There is a small Cuban community in Estonia.
Many Cuban musicians that have broken through on the global scene have performed in Estonia: Vocal Sampling (2002), clarinettist and saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and his international quintet (2009), Buena Vista Social Club (2010), and Cuban contrabass player Omar Rodriguez Calvo performed as part of a Swedish-Cuban-German trio during the Viljandi Jazzkaareke event in 2012.
In 2011 the Jazzkaar festival schedule included a Brazilian-Cuban evening, which included a performance by the Cuban violin virtuoso living in the United Kingdom Omar Puente. Cuban singer Jesus Montero Ramirez performed in Kuressaare the same year.
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