Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz is set for a two-day official visit to Cambodia from October 4 to 6 to strengthen and expand cooperation between the two countries, according to a press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Meanwhile, geopolitical analysts suggested that Cambodia could learn from Cuba's history of relations with the US, which has run the gamut from incidents such as the Cuban missile crisis of the 1960's to the thawing of relations during the administration of former US President Barack Obama and the subsequent retrenchment by his successor Donald Trump.
"The visit between the two prime ministers reflects Cambodia's 'Open Sky policy' to make as many friends as possible, whether they are communist or capitalist, authoritarian or democratic," observed geopolitical researcher Van Bonna.
The researcher also highlighted possible positive outcomes regarding the Cuban premier’s upcoming visit.
"The positive thing is that the ties between the two countries can be strengthened and Cambodia can implement a more diverse foreign policy, and because the Kingdom is the chair of ASEAN in 2022, it's possible that Cuba can find ways to expand ties with the rest of ASEAN in future," he said.
However, he was also concerned that the visit could turn out to be a negative because Cambodia's relations with the US have arguably been deteriorating, suggesting that Cambodia should avoid creating the appearance that it is going out of its way to build ties with “dictatorial regimes” when it still enjoys GSP trade status with the US and 43 per cent of Cambodia's exports go there yearly.
Back on September 23, following the 77th UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Prime Minister Hun Sen led a high-level delegation to Cuba for an official visit before heading to Japan for the state funeral of the slain former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
While in Cuba, the two prime ministers presided over the signing ceremony for several agreements including in foreign policy and the health and sport sectors.