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​Vietnam commemorates Fidel Castro’s historic wartime visit, 45 years on

Saturday, September 15, 2018, 12:09 GMT+7

A ceremony was held Friday evening in the central province of Quang Tri to mark 45 years since late Cuban leader Fidel Castro visited Vietnam in 1973 amidst its ongoing war against the U.S.

The historic visit by the late Cuban leader to a liberated warzone in Quang Tri at that time was a symbol of international solidarity movement supporting Vietnam’s struggle for national liberation, Tran Quoc Vuong, permanent member of the Vietnamese Party Central Committee’s Secretariat, said at the event.

Fidel’s trip also brought solidarity and valuable support of the Cuban people to Vietnam, Vuong added.

Fidel Castro was the first and only foreign state leader to visit the area, just seven months after the signing of the 1973 Paris agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam.

His presence in the zone despite dangers and hardships was a great source of encouragement to local Vietnamese residents and soldiers, as well as the country’s struggling people during the freedom war, the official said.

An art performance at a ceremony in Quang Tri Province in central Vietnam commemorating the 45th anniversary of Fidel Castro’s historic visit to the area during the war, September 14, 2018. Photo: Vietnam News Agency
An art performance at a ceremony in Quang Tri Province in central Vietnam commemorating the 45th anniversary of Fidel Castro’s historic visit to the area during the war, September 14, 2018. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

The Party, government and people of Vietnam always bear in mind the sentiments of Cuba and international friends towards the country both in the past and at present, he affirmed, expressing determination to work together with Cuban counterparts to preserve and cultivate the special bond between the two countries. 

Vietnam always stands side by side with Cuba and supports the Cuban people in their just cause, Vuong said. 

In his remarks, Salvado Valdes Mesa, First Vice President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba, recalled Fidel’s historic visit 45 years ago and his appeal to the Cuban people to support Vietnam’s national reconstruction. 

Cuba never forgets Vietnam’s unwavering support, he said, recalling the country’s persistent backing for the lifting of economic and trade embargoes imposed on Cuba by the U.S. 

He took the occasion to congratulate Vietnam on achievements the country had made in socio-economic reforms that greatly improved the people’s living standards while maintaining national stability. 

A file photo of Fidel Castro’s historic visit to Quang Tri Province in central Vietnam in September 1973.
A file photo of Fidel Castro’s historic visit to Quang Tri Province in central Vietnam in September 1973.

Cuba and Fidel Castro have for the past decade become a symbol of revolutionary heroism, undaunted spirit and aspiration for freedom and happiness, said Nguyen Van Hung, Secretary of the Party Committee of Quang Tri.

“For Vietnam, Cuba is willing to shed its blood,” Hung quoted the words of Fidel Castro.

He expressed his wish that the Cuban Party and government would increase cooperation with Vietnam and Quang Tri in such potential areas as tourism, healthcare and education.

On this occasion, the administration of Quang Tri on Saturday inaugurated a 16-hectare public park named after the late Cuban leader to commemorate his contributions to Vietnam.

The VND115 billion (US$4.9 million) park is located at the center of Quang Tri’s Dong Ha City, where a memorial of Fidel Castro is also built to cement the special bond between the two peoples.

Castro has made three visits to Vietnam in September 1973, December 1995, and February 2003 before his death on November 25, 2016.

To honor his great contributions, Vietnam has decorated Castro with two of its noblest orders, the Golden Star Order in 1982 and the Ho Chi Minh Order in 1989.

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Tuan Son / Tuoi Tre News

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