Vietnamese Party and State leaders have visited Cuba, known as the “Island of Freedom”, many times. All the visits have experienced close brotherhood and very fast comradeship. However, this visit of the high-ranking Vietnamese Party and State delegation led by National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has been covered with pains.
The decease of Fidel Castro has left a huge loss to both countries and nations – Cuba and Vietnam. It has caused a shock to the Vietnamese as Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang some days ago paid a call on and talked with President Fidel Castro for an hour during his State-level visit to Cuba.
|Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.
First friend sharing and relieving Cuban pain
As soon as arriving at Jose Marti airport, Vietnamese NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and her entourage went to the Jose Marti relic site, where the remains of Fidel Castro are being placed in. The Vietnamese NA Chairwoman and the Vietnamese delegation paid homage to a legendary leader of the international revolutionary movement for national independence and socialism, the great friend and affectionate comrade of the Vietnamese Party, State and people.
In her capacity as the President of the Vietnam-Cuba Friendship Association, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has visited Cuba six times, including two meetings with Fidel Castro. The meetings with the leader of the Cuban revolution have left a deep impression on the Vietnamese woman. She confided, “President Fidel Castro has passed away but his noble and humanitarian revolutionary thoughts will continue accompanying the Cuban people, the Vietnamese people and other vanguard and peace-loving people across the world. Long live His name and career in the revolutionary cause of the Cuban nation, in the hearts of the Vietnamese and other progressive people around the world!”
According to the Cuban State, Vietnam has been the first international delegation, who arrived in Cuba for the attendance of the Fidel Castro funeral ceremony, and who paid homage to the Cuban leader. In other words, Vietnam has been the first nation coming to and sharing pain and loss with its far-away brotherly Cubans. This also demonstrates the time-tested and fast bonds between two nations, who shared with each other hardship and blood in wars and difficulties in national socio-economic development of each country.
Later, the Vietnamese NA Chairwoman and Vietnamese delegation had a meeting with the staff of the Vietnamese Embassy and Vietnamese community in Cuba.
Speaking at the meeting, the NA Chairwoman said in a soft and affective voice, “The decease of President Fidel Castro is an uncompensable loss for the Cuban Party, State and people as well as Vietnamese Party, State and people. From now on, the Vietnamese have lost a great friend, a great comrade.”
Seeing endless lines of Cubans queuing to pay tribute to President Fidel Castro, one should realize how much Cuban people love and regret their great leader. The scene was so alike when the Vietnamese was seeing off their beloved leader, General Vo Nguyen Giap.
Friends in need
Vietnamese people have special sentiments for President Fidel Castro. This is simply because President Fidel Castro did special things to the Vietnamese people. Many Vietnamese still remember that President Fidel Castro was the first foreign state leader visited the fierce battlefield of Quang Tri in wartime to wave the Vietnamese flag, braving danger. At that moment, the Cuban leader said, “For Vietnam, Cuba is ready to devote its blood.”
Also on that visit, Vietnamese people witnessed the brave Cuban leader shedding tears when he saw a young female volunteer lying unconscious in blood nearby bomb craters due to US bombing.
After the trip to Quang Tri, witnessing the hardship and sufferings of local soldiers and people, President Fidel Castro decided to build a 500 bed hospital for the locality with the aim of facilitating the treatment of injured soldiers and people
The Cuban leader also decided to fund for the building of a large hotel in Hanoi for Vietnam to receive foreign guests witnessing the brutality of the war. The Cuba-sponsored hotel, named Thang Loi (Victory) and still located on the bank of West Lake in Hanoi, has symbolized the great support of the brotherly Cuba for Vietnam during the fierce war.
In war time, the country and people of Vietnam did suffer not only uncountable human and material losses but also numerous economic difficulties. Vietnamese former Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Dinh Bin, a member of the visiting Vietnamese delegation to Cuba told that President Fidel Castro and Cubans knew the difficulties faced with the Vietnamese people during the war so they rendered great supports to Vietnam: sending Cuban workers to Vietnam to build a road in Xuan Mai (known as Cuba road), a locality in the periphery of Hanoi; and offering breed cow, erecting cattle raising facilities in Ba Vi and Tam Dao and transferring cow raising technologies to Vietnam with a hope that Vietnamese people could have enough milk to drink and meat to eat every day.
It can be said that Cuba has always been side by side with Vietnam in its war for national independence and unification, and in Vietnam’s national development cause. In return, Vietnam has been ready to share difficulties with Cuba.
In recent years, Vietnam has sent a number of agriculture experts to Cuba, helping Cubans farm Vietnamese paddy rice, for Cuba could produce sufficient food for its population despite the economic embargo imposed by the USA, Vietnamese NA Chairwoman revealed. She also highly valued the Vietnamese model of support, which has helped Cuba sharply increase rice production and the country has no longer suffered a severe shortage of food.
Although President Fidel Castro, a symbol of Vietnam-Cuba friendship and comradeship, has passed away, the great sentimental heritage, he has left to the good friendly relationship between the two Parties, States and peoples, will continuously be fostered by next generations, and the close friendship between the two nations will live forever.
Written by Chien Thang from La Habana, CubaPSN