POLITICS

Vietnam to hold national day of mourning for Cuban figurehead Fidel Castro

Tuoi Tre News

Updated : 11/29/2016 14:30 GMT + 7

Vietnam is scheduled to hold a national day of mourning for Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on December 4.

The Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, the National Assembly, the President, the Government and the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee have consented to a national mourning to express their condolences and gratitude to the late Cuban leader.

On the date, all institutions across Vietnam and representative agencies of the country in foreign nations are required to hang flags at half mast and wear mourning bands.

Public entertainment activities will also be restricted, officials said in a statement.

Fidel Castro, who took power after a 1959 revolution and led Cuba for 49 years, passed away at the age of 90 on November 25.

Vietnam and Cuba established diplomatic ties on December 2, 1960.

Fidel Castro visited Vietnam three times, in September 1973, December 1995, and February 2003.

The revolutionary icon was a pioneer in the international movement to support Vietnam’s struggle for independence and reunification, as well as in its national reconstruction and development efforts.

According to the Cuban government, nine days of national mourning are set to commemorate the former leader, from November 26 to December 4, when his ashes are put at Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba. 

Vietnamese Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong (R) expresses his condolences to Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Herminio López Díaz in Hanoi on November 28, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan is slated to visit Cuba from Monday to Wednesday in order to attend a state-level funeral for Fidel Castro.

Vietnamese leaders sent their messages of condolences to Cuba on Saturday after the death of the Cuban icon.

Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong, State President Tran Dai Quang, and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also paid tribute to Fidel Castro at the Cuban Embassy in Hanoi on Monday morning.

Writing in the funeral book, General Secretary Trong said that Fidel Castro and his life-long achievement will live on, reiterating the solidarity between Vietnam and Cuba.

“Fidel Castro was a great and close friend, a comrade and brother of the Party, State leaders and people of Vietnam during the past 50 years,” President Quang noted in the funeral book.

The passion and courage of Fidel Castro left a strong impression on those who had the honor to meet him, including Quang himself, the Vietnamese head of state continued.

Vietnamese State President Tran Dai Quang (R) expresses his condolences to Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Herminio López Díaz. Photo: Tuoi Tre

According to PM Phuc, Fidel Castro was a close and loyal friend to the Vietnamese people, having made significant contributions to the comprehensive cooperation and mutual trust between the two nations.

The Cuban leader always stood with Vietnam during the difficult years as the nation struggled for independence and reunification as well as national development.

He quoted Fidel Castro’s famous words, “For Vietnam, Cuba is willing to donate blood,” which he said during his visit to a newly liberated area in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Tri in September 1973.

Many residents of the Vietnamese capital also gathered at the embassy to pay their respects to the Cuban leader, recalling their deep connection with the revolutionary icon and Cuban people in general.

In Ho Chi Minh City, local leaders, including Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Dinh La Thang, paid homage to Fidel Castro at the Cuban Consulate General on the same day, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc writes in the funeral book commemorating Fidel Castro. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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