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Grand meeting in Cuba marks Fidel’s historic trip to Vietnam

The Communist Party and State of Cuba held a meeting on September 12 to mark 45 years since the first visit by Fidel Castro to Vietnam, with the participation of around 400 delegates, activists and diplomats.

Prominent at the event were Politburo member and President of the Cuban National Assembly of People’s Power Esteban Lazo Hernández, Politburo member and Secretary of the Party Central Committee Mercedes López Ácea, Politburo member and General Secretary of the Cuban Workers’ Federation Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, Secretary of the Party Central Committee and head of the Party Central Committee’s Department of External Relations José Ramón Balaguer, and many senior officials.

Addressing the ceremony, Vietnam’s Ambassador to Cuba Nguyen Trung Thanh affirmed that the Vietnam-Cuba relationship is a special and unique one, and every generation of Vietnamese love and respect the heroic Cuban country and Fidel - the legendary leader.

Looking back at Fidel’s first trip visit to Vietnam, the Ambassador stressed that despite the danger, the General Commander was firm in his wish to visit the battle field and the people in southern Vietnam. He became the only foreign head of State to have cross the Parallel 17 to visit a liberated region in southern Vietnam during the anti-US resistance war.

Holding high photos of the historic trip of Fidel to Quang Tri province, Ambassador Thanh said the leader’s remarks and actions had become a source of valuable encouragement for Vietnamese soldiers and people during their struggle for national independence and freedom.

The celebration of Fidel’s Vietnam visit in September 1973 also honours the solidarity, the exemplary friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two nations, the ambassador said.

Politburo member and Secretary of the Party Central Committee Mercedes López Acea recalled the similarities between the two nations in their ideology and aspiration for independence and freedom, despite the great geographical distance, which made them become loyal fighting comrades on both the battlefield and the ideological front.

He said he believes the Vietnamese and Cuban people will continue their path to prosperous and sustainable socialism, guided by the ideology of their heroes and fallen soldiers, and maintain their close bonds despite the increasingly complicated developments in the international arena and the dangers threatening humankind as a whole.

On the occasion, participants at the meeting was treated to a play staged by the Colmenita children’s troupe based on José Martí’s classic work A journey through the land of the Annamese, and art performances of Cuban and Vietnamese artists and students.

The series of activities marking 45 years since Fidel’s first visit to Vietnam will end on September 17.