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Posted June 18, 2003 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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Associated Press

NEW DELHI, India - Cuban President Fidel Castro, once India’s close ally, has accepted an invitation to visit India, but the date has not been set, the Indian foreign ministry said Wednesday.

India’s junior foreign minister Digvijay Singh invited Castro during a June 12-14 visit to Havana.

“He has accepted the invitation. Dates are being worked out through diplomatic channels,” foreign ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told reporters.

Cuba was a close ally of India for decades after the South Asian nation gained independence from British colonial rule and New Delhi’s national policies leaned toward socialism.

India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and his daughter, Indira Gandhi, who later became the nation’s leader, had warm relations with the Soviet Union, Castro, and Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh.

Nehru and Castro were also close allies in the Nonaligned Movement, which claimed to lean neither toward the United States nor the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

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