Vietnam and Cuba issued a joint statement at the end of Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s official visit to Cuba from April 8-12.

General Secretary Trong’s visit was made at the invitation of the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Central Committee and President of the Cuban State Council and the Council of Ministers, Raul Castro Ruz.

The joint statement states that Trong held talks with First Secretary Raul Castro, visited Cuba’s Revolutionary Leader Fidel Castro Ruz and met with the President of the Cuban People’s National Assembly Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada.

In addition, Trong delivered a speech at the Nico Lopez Communist Party School, took a fact finding tour of the joint Vietnamese-Cuban project to grow rice and several other socio-cultural and economic establishments in Havana and Pinar Del Rio province.

The Cuban State presented the Jose Marti Order, the noblest distinction that Cuba can bestow, to General Secretary Trong in recognition of his outstanding contributions to consolidating the relationship between the two Parties, Governments and peoples as well as his efforts to promote socialism in Vietnam.

Vietnam confirmed that it always supports the Cuban people’s just struggle and asks the US administration to immediately and unconditionally end its unreasonable political and economic embargo and other anti Cuban activities it has imposed for more than half a century.

Vietnam also stated it supports the fight for justice for five Cuban patriots who are being detained in the US and highlighted Cuba’s role in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Cuba highly values Vietnam’s increasing international role and its efforts to promote peace, stability, cooperation and development in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region as well as its stance at international forums and with overseas organisations.

Both leaders said they are delighted at the level of their bilateral relations and agreed to continue to strengthen political ties, step up the exchange of experiences and other issues of mutual concern. This will utilise each country’s potential and expand and diversify bilateral cooperation in various fields.

They agreed to promote cooperation and mutual assistance at international forums, in which both countries are members. They will also focus on more multilateral cooperation at the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC), between Latin America and Southeast Asia as well as tripartite cooperation between Vietnam, Cuba and a third country.

Vietnam voiced its support for Cuba’s candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council during the 2014-2016 term and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the 2012-2014 term. Cuba also said it supports Vietnam’s candidacy for a place on the UN Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 term, the ECOSOC for the 2016-2018 term and non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.

Both leaders gave a briefing on the outcomes of Party General Secretary Trong’s visit to Cuba, and said it is a significant event and will promote cooperative relations between the two Parties, States and peoples.

On the afternoon of April 11, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong paid a visit to Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban revolution and the Cuban people.

Trong said he is honoured to meet Fidel Castro, who is now in good health, and conveyed him the Vietnamese Party and State’s best regards.

The Vietnamese Party chief said in each Vietnamese person’s heart, the image of Fidel Castro has always symbolised a resilient revolutionary soldier fighting for independence and freedom not for only Cuban people but other oppressed peoples around the world as well as a great friend and comrade of the Vietnamese people.

Trong informed Castro of Vietnam’s current situation and the outcomes of his talks with Cuban President Raul Castro, stating that the Vietnamese Party, State and people will strive together with the Cuban Party, State and people to promote the solidarity, friendship, mutual trust and cooperative cooperation that exists between Vietnam and Cuba.

Fidel Castro highly valued Party General Secretary Trong’s visit and said he is impressed with Vietnam’s achievements and highlighted Trong’s speech at the Nico Lopez Communist Party School.

He recalled his memories of Vietnam, late Prime Minister Pham Van Dong and General Vo Nguyen Giap and conveyed his best regards to the Vietnamese Party and State leaders.

He thanked the Vietnamese people for their assistance and solidarity with the Cuban people and both underlined the need to educate young people about Vietnam and Cuba’s revolutionary traditions, to uphold the two countries’ friendship and solidarity.

At the meeting, Trong and Fidel Castro also discussed international and regional issues of mutual concern.

On April 12, Party General Secretary Trong sent a message to thank Raul Castro, and other Party and State leaders as well as the Cuban people for their warm hospitality, saying that the visit will help to foster their friendship and mutual trust.

The message was sent after the Party leader had concluded his five-day official visit to Cuba.

Due to Brazil’s unexpected difficulties, the visit to Brazil by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and his entourage could not proceed. Party General Secretary Trong and his entourage left Cuba for home after concluding the official friendship visit.-

Due to Brazil’s unexpected difficulties, the visit to Brazil by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and his entourage could not proceed. Party General Secretary Trong and his entourage left Cuba for home after concluding the official friendship visit.-VNA