Fidel Castro—A great, close friend of Vietnam

On occasion of Fidel Castro’s first death anniversary (2016-2017, November 25), the Vietnam Times would like to share with readers an article written by Nhan Dan News’ reporter Van Nghiep Chuc, who accompanied National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on her trip to Cuba to pay tribute to the great leader one year ago.

On occasion of Fidel Castro’s first death anniversary (2016-2017, November 25), the Vietnam Times would like to share with readers an article written by Nhan Dan News’ reporter Van Nghiep Chuc, who accompanied National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on her trip to Cuba to pay tribute to the great leader one year ago.

Fidel Castro—A great, close friend of Vietnam

Prime Minister Pham Van Dong welcomes his Cuban counterpart, Fidel Castro, in the war-torn province of Quang Tri during the Cuban leader’s first visit to Vietnam in September 1973. (Credit: VNA).

A pure life, a glorious career

On the stands, Cuban President Raúl Castro, dressed in his military uniform, chaired the commemoration for his comrade and elder brother. Numerous heads of state and world leaders were present at the event.

Below was a vast sea of people from all social strata and the armed forces, including many students and cadets cradling photos of Fidel in their hands. During the ceremony, they chanted “I am Fidel!,” “May Fidel live forever!,” “Long live the Revolution!,” “Fatherland or death!,” “Solidarity brings certain victory!,” “To victory forever!” and other slogans.

At the extremely painful and touching moment, speaking at the memorial service before the people of the friendly country, Vietnamese NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan sincerely conveyed her deepest condolences on behalf of the high-level delegation of the Party and State of Vietnam and Vietnam’s leaders and people to the fraternal Cuban people and, especially, to the family of Comrade Fidel.

Chairwoman Ngan stressed that the passing of Comrade Fidel, a historic and legendary leader, was a huge loss for the Communist Party of Cuba and the fraternal State and people of Cuba. The international movement for communist revolution has lost a resilient, courageous and seasoned leader.

The Vietnamese delegation led by Ngan was the first high-level international delegation to arrive in Cuba to mourn Comrade Fidel. On its first day in the friendly country, NA Chairwoman Ngan wrote in the funeral book in a solemn and emotional atmosphere, expressing the profound sorrow and infinite grief of the Party, State and people of Vietnam upon the passing away of Comrade Fidel Castro, an outstanding leader of the Cuban Revolution, a great friend, a close comrade and a very faithful brother to the Party, State and people of Vietnam.

The world’s leaders have been full of praise over the past few days for Comrade Fidel’s great contributions to the international communist and workers’ movements over the course of more than half a century. They have noted Fidel’s illustrious name, great career and humanistic revolutionary ideology, which will live forever in the endeavours of the Cuban Revolution and in the hearts of progressive and peace-loving people around the world.

In these days of national mourning, the busy streets that are usually bustling with cultural and touristic activities have turned calm. Hotels, commercial centres, restaurants and cafés have fallen silent and honking on the streets is very rare. Millions of Cuban have been left distressed over their great loss since they received news of their leader’s passing. Many recreational activities have stopped.

In front of offices and residences, flags fly at half-mast, while large photos of Comrade Fidel in the midst of his revolutionary activities are on display everywhere in public. An influx of people from all over the world, including many foreign tourists, has flocked to Revolution Square. They have come here, quietly and orderly queuing and patiently waiting to their turn to visit a hugely respected man who has long been present in the hearts of millions of people, overcoming the geographical distance.

On the occasion of Comrade Fidel Castro’s demise, NA Chairwoman Ngan continued to affirm Vietnam’s consistent solidarity with the cause of its Cuban brothers’ revolution, asserting her determination to continue to strengthen and further deepen the special relations between the two brother countries. Arriving at a memorial dedicated to President Ho Chi Minh in Peace Park in Havana to lay flowers at the site, Ngan met and talked with faithful Cuban friends who were in Vietnam during the war years. Comrade Ngan and the other Vietnamese delegates expressed their pleasure at being received with such warmth and intimacy by the Cuban people as if they were visiting their relatives back at home.

Vietnam is always proud of the pure and consistent relationship between the two Parties and the two peoples. That relationship has stood the test of time and is now an exemplary symbol of friendly relations in this era. NA Chairwoman Ngan said the Cuban nation and Comrade Fidel would always remain in the hearts of each Vietnamese person!

Fidel Castro—A great, close friend of Vietnam

Vietnamese queuing to pay homage to Cuban leader Fidel Castro at the Cuban Embassy in Hanoi. (Credit: NDO)

Cuban leader Fidel Castro waves the flag of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam during his visit to the Quang Tri battlefield in 1973. (Credit: VNA)

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