|Lieutenant General Ramón Espinosa Martín, Member of the Political Bureau, Deputy Minister of the Cuban Ministry of Armed Forces, received medical aid from Việt Nam to Cuba from Charge d'Affaires of the Vietnamese Embassy in Cuba, Đỗ Đình Trường, in July 2020. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI – National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vương Đình Huệ’s ongoing visit to Cuba, which is part of his Latin American tour from April 18-28, is expected to give a boost to the already-sound relationship between the two countries.
The top legislator’s official visit to Cuba, which is made at the invitation of President of the National Assembly of People's Power of Cuba Esteban Lazo Hernandez, is believed to contribute to further deepening the close ties between the two Parties, States, NAs and people of Việt Nam and Cuba.
The visit is taking place at a time when Việt Nam and Cuba are celebrating the 60th founding anniversary of the Cuban Committee for Solidarity with South Vietnam (September 25, 1963-2023), and the 50th anniversary of Cuban leader Fidel Castro Ruz’s first visit to Việt Nam and the liberated zone in the South of Vietnam (September 1973).
Special solidarity, model of international relations
In the contemporary world history, the relationship between the two Parties, States and peoples of Việt Nam and Cuba is a rare one. This strong tie was founded by Cuban hero José Martí, President Hồ Chí Minh and Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and has been nurtured by generations of leaders and people of Việt Nam and Cuba.
Over the past six decades, the two nations have stood side by side during the struggle for national independence and freedom as well as the cause of national construction and defence and the building of socialism in each country.
Although the world situation has seen many ups and downs, the traditional solidarity and special friendship between Việt Nam and Cuba have continued to be promoted and strengthened in all channels in a substantial manner. In the current new development period in the two countries and the world, the two Parties and States are clearly aware of the need to further lift their ties to a new height.
The Việt Nam-Cuba partnership has been expanded to many areas from politics, diplomacy to economy, culture, education, science and technology. Their political relations have been strengthened with high mutual trust. Senior leaders of the two Parties, States and Governments have regularly made mutual visits, contributing to beefing up the bilateral ties and broadening exchanges among ministries and sectors.
Cooperation areas expanded
The sound political-diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and Cuba have motivated the bilateral economic and trade cooperation. In recent years, two-way trade has reached between US$250-300 million per year.
The Việt Nam-Cuba Trade Agreement was signed in 2018 during Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s visit to Việt Nam and took effect from April 1, 2020, contributing to promoting trade ties between the two countries.
The deal allows the continuous expansion and diversification of trade exchange between the two sides, while facilitating the import-export and market penetration activities. They are striving to reach US$500 million in two-way trade in 2025.
In terms of investment, Việt Nam is currently the largest Asia-Pacific investor in Cuba, with many operating projects. Many large-scale firms of Việt Nam are interested in the Cuban market and seeking investment and cooperation opportunities in the Caribbean country.
Regarding agricultural collaboration, a project to assist Cuba in rice production development in the 2011-2015 period with a total investment of US$43 million has been implemented effectively.
At the same time, other projects to support Cuba in maize, soya bean production and aquatic farming have also been fruitfully carried out. The two sides are working together on other agro-fisheries projects, including a rice production cooperation project in the 2019-2023 period that has been approved by the Vietnamese Government.
The Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have also provided technical assistance to Cuba to develop high-yielding maize. The two sides have also agreed on the third phase of the project to support Cuba in aquaculture in the 2022-2025 period.
In the field of education, each year, Cuba has granted many scholarships to Vietnamese students, while many Cuban young people have received scholarships to study Vietnamese language and culture at the Vietnam National University-Hanoi.
The two sides have also supported each other in COVID-19 prevention and control, and are seeking to bolster economic, trade and investment collaboration.
Parliamentary cooperation makes positive, practical contributions to bilateral ties
According to NA General Secretary and Chairman of the NA Office Bùi Văn Cường, leaders of Cuba and the Cuban NA have highly valued the positive and practical contributions of the two NAs to the reinforcement and promotion of the special and loyal friendship between the two countries, and share the hope to further strengthen and deepen the ties between the two countries in general and the two parliaments in particular.
“During NA Chairman Vương Đình Huệ's ongoing visit, leaders of the Vietnamese and Cuban National Assemblies are scheduled to sign an agreement on inter-parliamentary cooperation mechanism between the two National Assemblies,” said Vũ Hải Hà, Chairman of the Vietnamese NA Committee for External Relations.
The Cuba visit by NA Chairman Huệ coincides with the celebrations of many important events of the Cuban revolution and Việt Nam-Cuba relations.
Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Orlando Nicolás Hernández Guillén affirmed that the visit is of historical significance, noting that the Vietnamese NA leader’s entourage who are representatives from many sectors will contribute to further bolstering the partnership between the two countries.
Chairman of the NA Committee for External Relations Vũ Hải Hà said that the Cuban side is looking forwards to the visit. The Vietnamese NA Chairman is the first foreign leader to visit Cuba after the country successfully held the general election, he said.
The agreement on inter-parliamentary cooperation mechanism aims to increase the sharing of experience and mutual support at regional and international forums, while fostering coordination in supervising the implementation of cooperation deals between the two countries, thus making the bilateral relations more practical and effective, Hà added.VNS