In 1965, Marta Rojas, a special envoy of the Cuban Revolution Newspaper in Santiago de Cuba city, was sent to Vietnam to cover developments of the fierce war in South Vietnam. The suggestion was approved by the then Cuban President Fidel Castro and the Vietnamese side.

Although the resistance war for national independence and reunification of the Vietnamese people in the South was in the fiercest period, Marta Rojas did not hesitate to undertake the assignment. She said, “I can go immediately without any preparation.”

Cuban correspondent Marta Rojas in a meeting with a reporter of the People’s Army Newspaper at the Monument of President Ho Chi Minh in Cuba’s Havana capital city

Talking about her quick decision, the veteran correspondent said that the special sentiment of Cuban people for the Vietnamese people and their just struggle urged her to travel to the country. She added that the Cuban people from all walks of life loved the Vietnamese. President Fidel Castro also reserved the Vietnamese special sentiment. Years ago, the Cuban leader himself came to the harbor to welcome the first Vietnamese students to study in Cuba. 

At that time, Marta Rojas had to use a secret road to go to Vietnam via various Cambodia’s provinces to reach a forest in Vietnam’s Tay Ninh province where the Central Office for South Vietnam was stationed.

54 days and nights in Vietnam enabled the Cuban correspondent to understand deeply the war waged by the US imperialists against Vietnam. Everyday, U.S. B52 fighters dropped bombs on areas where the Vietnamese revolutionary troops stayed.

Marta Rojas said that she wanted the Cuban people and friends across the world understand more about the heroic fight of the Vietnamese people. Her experiences were useful materials for her articles.

What made Marta Rojas remember the most about Vietnam was the kindness and thoughtfulness of the Vietnamese friends. In spite of fierce war, the Vietnamese troops tried to give her special treatment.

The correspondent remembered the day that she received a cold cake from the Vietnamese troops. Earlier, she joked that she missed the taste of a cold cake. The next day, the Vietnamese troops surprised her by bringing her one. Over the past 57 years, she has kept the card with the information of the manufacturer. After the South Vietnam was liberated, Marta Rojas visited the factory. “Those were unforgettable moments in my life”, said she.

Marta Rojas’s heart-touching words reflected the close relationship between Vietnam and Cuba, which has been preserved as an invaluable property for later generations by the two Parties, States, and peoples.

Translated by Tran Hoai