In a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban leader's historic visit to the liberated zone in Central Quang Tri province of Vietnam (September 1973-2023), Orlando said it holds great significance for Cuban leader Fidel.

From the victory of the Cuban revolution and its international influence, Fidel identified the struggle by the Vietnamese people as one of the major tasks of the mankind, aimed at strengthening sovereignty, independence, and human dignity.

Prime Minister Pham Van Dong and Cuban Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz visit Dong Ha town, Quang Tri province in September 1973.

In all the international events that he attended during 1960s, Fidel consistently mentioned the struggle by the Vietnamese people and emphasized the need to show solidarity with that struggle.

In Cuba, a committee for solidarity with Southern Vietnam and other mechanisms were established to provide maximum support to the people of Vietnam, the diplomat said.

In 1960s, top Cuban leaders such as Comrade Raúl Castro, President Osvaldo Dorticós, and Commander Juan Almeida Bosque visited Vietnam, except for Commander-in-Chief Fidel. Therefore, as he arrived in Vietnam on September 12, 1973, and visited Quang Tri three days later, he fulfilled a great aspiration of his own to witness with his own eyes the struggle, fighting spirit, and heroism of Vietnam.

Fidel’s visit to Vietnam holds immense significance for the people of both countries, the diplomat said, noting that the image of Fidel, his personality, and events involving him in Vietnam and many other places carry a legendary aura.

It's evident that all of these elements are part of the legacy of the Cuba - Vietnam relationship, and that's why immediately after Fidel passed away, solemn ceremonies in commemoration of him were organized not only in Hanoi but also in various locations across Vietnam.

“That's why I believe this visit marks a significant milestone. I am confident that there have been very few visits, at least from Cuba, that hold as much importance as Fidel's visit to Vietnam in 1973,” the diplomat said.

Cuban people are very proud of everything the Commander-in-Chief did during that time, he went on.

Orlando also highlighted the potential for Vietnam and Cuba to further expand their economic cooperation, saying that there are several areas that the two countries can complement each other.

According to the diplomat, Vietnam is a strong producer of food and has advanced scientific and technological capabilities in agriculture - one of the sectors where Vietnam has been helping Cuba. Therefore, the two countries can consider strengthening relations in this field.

Vietnam is assisting and cooperating with Cuba in various fields, including rice and coffee production, and aquaculture, he said, noting that there are favorable conditions not only for bilateral cooperation but also for the presence of Vietnamese businesspeople in Cuba to develop important economic and trade projects related to the production of rice, coffee, and other agricultural products.

The two countries should also step up cooperation in clean energy development and pharmaceutical production, he said.

Meanwhile, Cuba has developed a strong pharmaceutical industry using advanced scientific capabilities. It is one of the few countries in the world that can develop its own vaccines, not just one but three very effective vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic, which have been exported to countries around the world, including Vietnam, the diplomat said.

Source: VNA