|Former Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro visited Dong Ha Town in Quang Tri Province, Viet Nam in 1973. — VNA/VNS File Photo
QUANG TRI (VNS)— Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc yesterday attended a meeting commemorating the 40th anniversary of the inaugural visit of former Cuban President Fidel Castro to the battlefield in Quang Tri Province.
Addressing the meeting, Deputy PM Phuc recalled the visit by President Fidel Castro in 1973, saying the visit gave courage to the Vietnamese people and soldiers fighting against US troops in 1975.
Phuc said the visit was politically significant in Viet Nam's history, as President Castro hadbeen the first foreign leader to visit Viet Nam soon after the early independence of the North.
The gesture conveyed the affection President Castro had for Viet Nam, who insisted on visiting the war-torn locality, said Phuc.
He also described the post-war era, saying Cuba had continued to be Viet Nam's strongest supporter as it began the process of rebuilding, adding that bilateral relations between the two countries had persisted throughout their respective histories.
"The Party, State, and people of Viet Nam will always appreciate support from Cuba," he said.
In 1973, President Fidel Castro led a delegation to Ha Noi to celebrate the nation's newfound freedom. President Castro was reportedly determined to visit Quang Tri on September 15 and 16, wanting to inspect the locality worst affected by American attacks and buouying local hopes for rebuilding the province. —VNS