Making news

Cuban journalist Marta Rojas – Vietnam’s close friend passes away

Cuban journalist and writer Marta Rojas, a close friend of Vietnam who had witnessed the country’s struggle for national defence passed away on October 3.

The Union of Journalist of Cuba and Granma, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Cuba, said on October 4 that she died of a heart attack.

Rojas, born in Santiago de Cuba on May 17, 1931, graduated from the University of Havana.

She witnessed the attack on Moncada Barracks led by Fidel Castro on July 26, 1953, and the trial held by Batista, the Cuban dictatorship, against Fidel and his comrades, and narrated the events in her book titled “The Moncada Trial.”

Following the success of the Cuban revolution in 1959, Rojas worked for some revolutionary press agencies, and Granma daily since it was founded in 1965.

Rojas was honoured with the Jose Marti National Journalism Prize in 1997, the 2006 Alejo Carpentier Novel Prize, and the National Labour Hero title.

In its official announcement, Granma said Rojas worked as the first Cuban and Latin American war correspondent during Vietnam’s resistance war against the US. For a decade in Vietnam, she witnessed the US’s bombing on northern Vietnam and the struggle of guerrillas in Cu Chi in the south. She was also the last foreign journalist to interview President Ho Chi Minh.

Returning to Cuba, Rojas still actively participated in campaigns and activities in support of Vietnam, as well as the solidarity between the two countries. She often wrote articles on the Southeast Asian nation published by Granma.

At 90, Rojas still worked as Vice President of the Cuba-Vietnam Friendship Association. She also participated in a meeting between President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and representatives from the Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples (ICAP) and the Cuba-Vietnam Friendship Association, as part of the Vietnamese leader’s visit to the Caribbean nation from September 18-20.