A meeting was held in Tien Giang province on January 2 to mark the 48 th anniversary of Ap Bac victory, which was the first major victory by the Vietnamese revolutionary army against US-backed Saigon armed forces.

Nguyen Van Khang, Chairman of the Tien Giang provincial People’s Committee, recalled the battle of Ap Bac, which took place in a small hamlet named Ap Bac near the Plain of Reeds, a stronghold of the national revolution, on January 2, 1963. It defeated an attack by 2,000 enemy troops, equipped with armoured vehicles, artillery and American helicopters.

The victory led to the bankruptcy of the enemy’s tactic of helicopter and armour transportation and stirred up a movement “To follow Ap Bac in killing enemy troops” across southern Vietnam .

The 261 st Battalion, which played a key role in the victory, was presented a flag embroidered with the line “Giron Battalion” by the Cuban Government. One year after the victory, the battalion was renamed as Giron after a glorious victory of the Cuban revolution.

The Cuban General Consul in Ho Chi Minh City , Gabriel Perez Tarrau, expressed his impression of a great change for the better in the former battlefield of Ap Bac after 35 years of liberation and the successful renewal of Vietnam as a whole.

He emphasised the coincidence on the date of the Ap Bac victory and the Cuban National Day which was declared 52 years ago.

The meeting was also held to mark the 50 th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, both of which are preparing to hold their Party Congresses this year.

The Cuban diplomat and his entourage also paid a tribute to three soldiers killed in the battle of Ap Bac at their tombs./.