President Nguyen Xuan Phuc is the first head of state to visit Cuba since the successful organization of the eighth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba. This is also the first visit to Cuba by a senior Vietnamese leader after the 13th Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam. The visit aims to reaffirm Vietnam's foreign policy that attaches importance to strengthening the special traditional friendship between the two parties, the two states and the two peoples.

Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc in the telephone talks with First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and President of Cuba Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermudez on August 23

Vietnam-Cuba relationship is rare and special in the history of the contemporary world. Since the establishment of the diplomatic relations on December 2, 1960, generations of the two countries’ leaders and people have always treasured the relationship as a priceless asset of both sides. The two countries have stood side by side during the struggle for national liberation and reunification as well as the national defense and construction cause of each country. Cuba is a pioneer in the international movement to back Vietnam. On the other hands, the Vietnamese Party, State and people always support the revolutionary cause of the Cuban Party, State and people. Vietnam always treasures the wholehearted support and remember the spirit of solidarity displayed in the immortal saying of Cuban leader Fidel Castro: “For Vietnam, Cuba is willing to devote its blood.”

In recent years, the traditional solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cuba have been increasingly reinforced in various fields such as politic affairs, economy and trade, defense, security, agriculture, and more. The two countries have maintained regular delegation exchange. Amid the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, all-level leaders of the two sides have held meetings via the virtual format. They have also implemented effective cooperation mechanisms such as the Vietnam-Cuba Intergovernmental Committee, the theoretical symposiums between the two parties, the deputy-ministerial defense policy dialogue, and the political consultation at the deputy foreign minister level.

The two-way trade turnover in 2020 reached USD 178.5 million, of which Vietnam’s export to Cuba accounted for more than a half. Cuba imported about 300,000 to 400,000 tons of rice per year from Vietnam. On April 1, 2020, the Vietnam-Cuba Trade Agreement (signed on November 9, 2018) officially took effect, bringing benefits to both sides’ businesses and creating favorable conditions for import and export activities.

Vietnam and Cuba havemaintained cooperation and mutual support at international organizations and multilateral forums, especially at the United Nations. Vietnam has backed Cuba's candidacy for the U.N. Human Rights Council for the 2021-2023 term, actively promoted and supported the country to sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) (November 10, 2020). Vietnam has consistently supported the end of the isolation and economic-financial embargo against Cuba. For its part, Cuba has supported Vietnam's candidacy for the U.N. Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.

Looking back upon the past journey, we are extremely proud of the solidarity, close friendship, pure faithfulness and mutual trust between the two countries. In the context of the two countries' increasingly good relationship, the Cuban official visit of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and a high-ranking delegation of the Vietnamese Party and State is an opportunity for senior leaders of the two sides to exchange views and agree on measures to further promote bilateral ties in the time to come. This important political event demonstrates the continuation and development of the special relationship between Vietnam and Cuba, which was established by late President Ho Chi Minh and Leader Fidel Castro and nurtured by generations of leaders and people of the two countries.

We firmly believe that the visit will be a great success, significantly contributing to promoting the special traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, for the benefits of the two peoples and the prosperous development of each country as well as for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

Translated by Trung Thanh