Cuba, Vietnam boast close political relations

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Cuba President Fidel Castro's historic visit to the liberated region of Quang Tri, SGGP would like to bring to readers an article by Master Ariadne Feo Labrada, Consul General of Cuba to Ho Chi Minh City.

Mutual cooperation with huge support

In a speech to Vietnamese leaders during his visit to Vietnam in September 1973, Cuban leader Fidel Castro acknowledged that Vietnamese people’s consistent and heroic fight for liberation greatly inspired other oppressed and exploited nations in the world.

Fidel is the only head of state to visit the liberated area in Southern Vietnam, which was also his wish. His presence in Vietnam at that time not only showed the world that Vietnam is not alone, but also affirmed the unconditional support of the Cuban people.

Ten years before leader Fidel visited Quang Tri, on September 25, 1963, the Cuba-Vietnam Solidarity Committee was established in Cuba, headed by Moncada's heroine - Ms. Melba Hernández. This event marked strong political significance in the relations between the two countries, and this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of this organization.

During the challenging wartime between Vietnam and the United States, the Cuba-Vietnam Solidarity Committee and the Cuba-Vietnam Friendship Association contributed to combating the press’s isolation over the war crimes in Vietnam. Cuba is also the first country to have an ambassador to the Provisional Government of Southern Vietnam.

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro always reminded the Cuban people that the Vietnamese people not only fought for their own independence, but also fought for the world revolutionary movement. The Vietnamese’s resilience was, thus, a great source of inspiration for the Cuban people.

Under the direction of President Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro Ruz, Vietnam and Cuba established diplomatic relations on December 2, 1960. Over the past six decades, this special political relationship, solidarity and cooperation have been constantly preserved and strengthened, based on their shared love for independence and hatred for imperialism.

José Julián Martí Pérez - a Cuban national hero, was the first person to promote Vietnamese culture and history among the Cuban community through a story of his, published in the magazine La sangre de Oro in 1889.

Ariadne Feo Labrada, Consul General of Cuba to HCMC (in the middle of the photo, in front row) at the opening ceremony of the Vietnam-Cuba Friendship Association, Traditional Liaison Committee of Veterans of Battalion 261 - Giron in HCMC in August - 2023

Ariadne Feo Labrada, Consul General of Cuba to HCMC (in the middle of the photo, in front row) at the opening ceremony of the Vietnam-Cuba Friendship Association, Traditional Liaison Committee of Veterans of Battalion 261 - Giron in HCMC in August - 2023

Despite geographic distance and financial hardships, the relationship is increasingly expanding in many aspects. In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, the two countries exchanged experience, donating vaccines and medical supplies for each other. In terms of economy, Vietnam is Cuba's second most important trading partner and the largest foreign investor in Asia and Oceania.

As far as politics is concerned, high-level visits and meetings between representatives of various political organizations and the masses are maintained, the most typical of which include the visits to Vietnam of Manuel Marrero Cruz, Politburo member and Cuban Prime Minister in October 2022, and Roberto Morales Ojeda, Politburo member and Permanent Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Secretariat in April 2023.

Similarly, there have been a number of high-level delegations from Vietnam to visit Cuba recently, such as the one led by National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue in April 2023. Later, the delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha visited Cuba and attended the G77+China Summit in September 2023. In all forums, Vietnam is steadfast in requesting to lift the unilateral embargo against Cuba, signifying the strong friendship between the two nations.

Prominent role of Ho Chi Minh City

Established on August 3, 1982, Cuba’s HCMC-based Consulate General has deepened the connections between HCMC and other Cuban localities, which expanded the current political cooperation to other fields such as culture, education, health, construction and agriculture.

Mutual exchange of delegations also contributed to the strengthened political relations between the two nations. This can be seen in the successful visit to Cuba of Nguyen Thi Le, Deputy Secretary of the City Party Committee and Chairwoman of the HCMC People's Council, and the visit of the Secretary of the HCMC Communist Youth Union this year. Youth organizations in HCMC and La Habana, Cuba's capital, are implementing the Memorandum of Understanding on exchanging experiences and establishing friendly relationships, which was signed in July 2022 in La Habana.

Citizen engagement activities continue to be enhanced by the Representative Office of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO), the HCMC Union of Friendship Organizations (HUFO) and the Vietnam-Cuba Friendship Association HCMC.

A number of trade and investment promotion seminars have been jointly organized by the Consulate General of Cuba, the People's Committee of HCMC together with the Trade and Investment Promotion Center (ITCP). Some Vietnamese HCMC-based companies maintain trade relations and investment projects in Cuba. One prime example is Thai Binh Company, a pioneer in the field of trade and investment with more than 25 years of operation in the Cuban market.

Cuba attaches great significance to learning from HCMC’s achievements in high-tech agriculture, food production, construction materials, tourism, renewable energy, foreign investment, and other fields. At the same time, HCMC and the Cuban Consulate General maintain their close coordination and cooperation in different aspects.

Other news