|Cuban President Fidel Castro meets soldiers of the Khe Sanh brigade, Tri Thien Hue liberation army during his visit to Quang Tri province in September, 1973. (photo: VNA)
This is an opportunity for the people of the two countries to learn more about the special Vietnam-Cuba relationship begun by President Ho Chi Minh and Cuban Leader Fidel Castro. The visit demonstrates the two countries’ determination to continue to foster their fine traditions and tighten Vietnam-Cuba solidarity.
In September 1973, following the January 27 signing of the Paris Accord on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam, Fidel Castro was the first head of state to visit Quang Tri province, a liberated zone in South Vietnam. His historic visit, which demonstrated Cuba’s political support and encouragement for the Vietnamese revolution, was an historic milestone in the bilateral relationship and a symbol of the international movement of solidarity and support for Vietnam's national liberation.
While he was alive, Fidel Castro felt a special affection for Vietnam. He considered supporting Vietnam means supporting Cuba's cause. He said "For Vietnam, Cuba is willing to shed its blood!" at a rally at Jose Marti Revolutionary Square in Havana on January 2, 1966, to celebrate the success of Cuba’s revolution and welcome the Asia-Africa-Latin America Solidarity Conference. He repeated those words when he visited Quang Tri, the "land of fire", on September 16, 1973.
President Castro's deep affection for Vietnam and the generous help of the Cuban Government and people were a source of great encouragement for the Vietnamese army and people during the war. Fidel paid two more visits to Vietnam, in 1995 and 2003.
Vietnam always remembers and is grateful for Cuba's support in its struggle for national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national unification, and for Fidel’s great affection for Vietnam. Vietnam is committed to supporting Cuba's cause of national construction and development, and to sharing experience on the renewal process.
|President Vo Van Thuong welcomes President of the National Assembly of People's Power of Cuba Esteban Lazo Hernandez in Hanoi. (photo: VOV)
Outstanding cooperation results
Through the test of time, the special relationship between Vietnam and Cuba has resulted in concrete cooperative achievements. The two countries maintain regular exchanges of delegations at all levels and face-to-face and online contact activities. The two gave each other timely support in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnam is Cuba's second largest trade partner in Asia. The Vietnam-Cuba Trade Agreement, which took effect in April 2020, has created favorable conditions for bilateral trade.
Vietnam is currently the largest Asian investor in Cuba. Vietnamese businesses are steadily expanding investment in Cuba, especially in the Mariel Special Economic Zone, to produce consumer goods, construction materials, renewable energy, and rice.
Vietnam and Cuba support each other at global organizations and multilateral forums, particularly at the United Nations. Vietnam supported Cuba's candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council for the 2021-2023 term and the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia in November, 2020. Vietnam consistently supports ending the economic and financial embargo against Cuba.
Continuing to protect valuable bilateral ties
Vietnam and Cuba have agreed to elevate their relationship to a new stage focused on economic and trade cooperation.
The co-organization of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Fidel Castro's visit to the liberated zone in South Vietnam shows a respect for the legacy of the Vietnam-Cuba relationship, which was begun by Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro and has been nurtured by generations of leaders and people in both countries.
Vietnam always appreciates Cuba’s support for its struggle for national liberation and unification in the past and for its current national development.
In a volatile world, preserving and promoting a relationship of solidarity and trust which is unprecedented in the world is the task of the leaders and people of both countries.