The ceremony was co-chaired by General Phan Van Giang, Politburo member, Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission, Minister of National Defense of Vietnam, and Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Orlando Nicolás Hernández Guillén.

According to Ambassador Orlando Nicolás Hernández Guillén, the ceremony aimed to acknowledge and honor the valuable contribution of officers of the Vietnam People’s Army to fostering the Vietnam – Cuba defense cooperation and the close friendship between the two peoples.

General Phan Van Giang addresses the event.

The Cuban diplomat took the occasion to thank the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense for helping Cuba in carrying out economic cooperation projects, training and developing the Cuban armed forces.

At the ceremony, the ambassador repeated General Raul Castro Ruz’s saying, “The deep friendship between Cuba and Vietnam has survived the test of time.” The close relationship was tested during the difficult years of Vietnam's struggle for national liberation. The diplomat affirmed that the Vietnamese and Cuban Party, Government, people and military have stayed united and shared experience in building a socialist society and ensuring justice and happiness in each country. He said that the brotherhood will be fostered by the young generations of Cuba and Vietnam. 

Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Orlando Nicolás Hernández Guillén speaks at the event.

On behalf of the Ministry of National Defense of Vietnam, Defense Minister Phan Van Giang deeply thanked the Cuban Party, State, people, and armed forces for the precious sentiment and noble and meaningful orders for leaders, former leaders, and officers of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense.

The Vietnamese defense minister emphasized that the friendship between Vietnam and Cuba will forever be an eternal symbol of the pure, impartial, loyal internationalism, a symbol of revolutionary heroism, and an invaluable asset that has been preserved, protected, nurtured and passed on to future generations by the two parties and peoples.

Along with the fruitful development of the relationship between the two parties and two states, the ties between the Vietnam People's Army and the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces have always been promoted by generations of party, government and defense leaders of the two countries and become an important pillar and highlight in the bilateral relationship. The two sides have implemented cooperation in such fields as agriculture and especially in the COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control.

Delegates at the event

At the award ceremony, General Phan Van Giang emphasized that there remains ample room for the Vietnam – Cuba relationship in general and bilateral defense cooperation in particular to comprehensively and strongly develop, contributing to national construction and defense cause in each country and peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.

Minister of National Defense Phan Van Giang repeated the slogan that has accompanied and energized the two countries in every period which is “Vietnam - Cuba, unity will definitely win!"

Particularly, the Cuban Government presented three Playa Girón orders to Generals Phan Van Giang, Ngo Xuan Lich, and Luong Cuong.

Seven Antonio Maceo orders were given to Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Tan Cuong; Senior Lieutenant General Le Huy Vinh; Senior Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Chien; and former defense leaders Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Senior Lieutenant General Tran Don, Senior Lieutenant General Be Xuan Truong, and Senior Lieutenant General Le Chiem.

The Cuban Government also handed over 23 friendship orders to Vietnamese leaders and former leaders of the Ministry of National Defense.

Cuban Ambassador and Lieutenant Colonel Víctor Rojo Ramos hand over orders to leaders and former leaders of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense.

At the event, Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Orlando Nicolás Hernández Guillén and Lieutenant General Víctor Rojo Ramos handed over orders to leaders and former leaders of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense.

Translated by Tran Hoai