The Cuban Embassy hosted a ceremony in Hanoi on September 12 to celebrate Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro's first visit to Vietnam and the liberated zone in Southern Vietnam 50 years ago (September 12, 1973 - 2023), and launch a photo exhibition themed "Great victory of Vietnam and Cuba".
Addressing the event, Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Orlando Nicolás Hernández Guillén highlighted the special ties between Cuba and Vietnam, which was formed amid the Vietnamese people's resistance war.
Fifty years ago, leader of the Cuban revolution Fidel Castro became the first and only foreign government leader to cross Vietnam's 17th Parallel, which separated the North and the South of Vietnam, in the midst of the war, he noted.
The shocking news about the assassination of Chilean President Salvador Allende, the threat of landmines, destroyed bridges, devastated villages and the threat of a storm did not stop Fidel from reaching Quang Binh, the land destroyed by bombs and the land of heroes, crossing Ben Hai River and visiting the liberated zone of Quang Tri province, said the diplomat, recalling the leader's speech at Peak 241.
The ambassador underlined the political trust and sound cooperation between the two countries in all fields, noting that Vietnam is currently the second largest trading partner and biggest Asian investor of Cuba with many projects related to food security. At international forums and multilateral organisations, the two countries have joined hands in defending many goals and principles, he added.
The Cuban Ambassador thanked the Vietnam News Agency for providing 11 photos to showcase at the exhibition, giving the public a better insight into the close ties between Cuba and Vietnam.
For his part, Chairman of the National Assembly's Committee for External Relations Vu Hai Ha underlined that a half of a century has passed, but the image of the Cuban leader raising the flag of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam at Peak 241 in Cam Chinh commune, Cam Lo district, also known as Carol base, still stays deep in the memories of many Vietnamese people.
At this place, President Fidel Castro said "For Vietnam, Cuba is willing to shed blood," which has become a symbol for the Vietnam-Cuba relations and a motto for the loyal friendship between the two nations not only in the past but also at present and in the future, he said.
Ha stressed that the Party, State and people of Vietnam will never forget the great support that the Cuban people have given to Vietnam in the past struggle for national liberation and in the current cause of national construction and defence.
The Party, State and people of Vietnam are determined to join hands with their Cuban counterparts to maintain and reinforce the special friendship and solidarity between the two countries and pass them to the future generations, he said, adding that Vietnam always stands side by side, unites with and supports the just cause of the Cuban people.