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|Fidel Castro was the first and only foreign state leader to visit the newly-liberated area in Vietnam’s central Quang Tri province in September 1973. Photo: VNA|
Fidel Castro’s immortal statement “For Vietnam, Cuba is willing to shed its blood” has become the motto of the pure, loyal relationship between the two countries, said Dr. Loc Thi Thuy, from the Vietnam Institute of Americas Studies.
In an article published on VOV on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Vietnam-Cuba diplomatic ties (December 2), Thuy said Vietnam was a bright example and a pride of Fidel, with the Dien Bien Phu victory against French colonialists in 1954 when he was in Batista’s Prison.
Vietnam’s example, the influence of the Dien Bien Phu victory and such names as Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap were the foundation, guideline and important catalyst for Fidel to let Cuba become the first Latin American nation to set up diplomatic ties with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (December 2, 1960) and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (December 22, 1960), only two days after the front was formed.
|Fidel Castro, Cuban Prime Minister, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, in a group photo at Ben Hai People’s Security Post duirng his Vietnam visit in 1973. Photo: VNA|
In her article, Thuy explained why Cuban paid attention to Vietnam and maintained its close ties with the Vietnamese revolution since the first days of the Cuban revolution and the Caribbean nation faced a range of difficulties and challenges.
The Vietnamese and Cuban revolutions shared the common goal of fighting imperialism and gaining independence and freedom for oppressed peoples, she said.
Therefore, Fidel and the Communist Party of Cuba provided wholehearted and pure support for Vietnam during the struggle against US forces, with the spirit of noble internationalism, according to Thuy.
Fidel was the first and only foreign state leader to visit the newly-liberated area in Vietnam’s central Quang Tri province in September 1973, during which he stated “For Vietnam, Cuba is willing to shed its blood.”
|General Vo Nguyen Giap (right) and Cuban leader Fidel Castro duirng the General's visit to Cuba in 1976. Source: Photo album "General, Commander-in-chief Vo Nguyen Giap"|
In that spirit, over the past six decades, the Vietnam-Cuba relationship has developed stably despite multiple difficulties, through regular visits by leaders of the two countries, Thuy said.
Cooperation channels via the Party, State, National Assembly and Government have been maintained, she said, adding that the two countries have consistently supported each other in regional and international issues, especially the efforts to ask the US to lift its embargo on Cuba over the past 60 years.
Although Fidel passed away, his ideology has oriented the bilateral relationship, making it green and sustainable forever, Thuy wrote.
Concluding the article, Thuy cited Fidel in a documentary by US Director Oliver Stone in 1997 as saying that having no chance to meet beloved President Ho Chi Minh in-person is the regret in his revolutionary life./.
Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, a towering figure of the 20th century, died in Havana on November 25, 2016, at the age of 90.
Born on August 13, 1926, Fidel was a great revolutionist who named Cuba in the history of humankind with a revolution overturning the dictatorial regime and led the Caribbean country to today’s independence.
As one of the leading world figures in the second half of the 20th century, Fidel Castro had outsized influence given the size of his small Caribbean island.
Fidel Castro was presented with the Vietnamese State’s Golden Star Order in 1982 and Ho Chi Minh Order in 1989 for his great contributions.
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