Hanoi (VNA) – In the late 19th century when both Vietnam and Cuba were under the rule of colonialists, Jose Marti - Cuban national hero - expressed his attention and sentiments towards the Southeast Asian nation.

Vietnam-Cuba cultural exchange in review hinh anh 1In 2019, the publishing house translated Dang Thuy Tram’s Diary into Spanish and introduced it to Cuban readers. 

In a journal titled “Un paseo por la tierra de los anamitas" (A stroll through the land of An Nam) published in the La Edad de Oro (The golden age) magazine in 1889, Marti gave readers insight into the land, culture and people of Vietnam from the uprising of Trung sisters to the fight against French forces.

Through documents collected at an exhibition on An Nam in Paris, he vividly described the land and people there that he had never met before.

Marti pinned his hope on the struggles for national liberation of Vietnamese and Cuban people, and miraculously, his belief came true.

It can be said that mutual understanding and cultural exchange between Vietnam and Cuba were sowed by the Cuban hero two centuries ago, and generations of Vietnamese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho chi Minh, have cultivated the fruitful relationship.

During a reception for a delegation of the Cuban Party and Government in June 1966, President Ho Chi Minh said despite geographical distance, Vietnamese and Cuban people are like siblings.

The cultural ties have been enhanced following the success of the Cuban revolution in January 1959, the Literature Publishing House introduced a book on Cuba by journalist Thep Moi in 1962.

In the book, which could be the first of its kind published in Vietnam, Thep Moi recalled his experiences in the Caribbean country for nearly one month, especially Cuban people’s spirit and resolve to build socialism.

Also in 1962, poet To Huu wrote a poem titled “Tu Cuba” (From Cuba) following his trip to the country, expressing his admiration to its revolution.

The Literature Publishing House then published some books on Cuban literature that were translated into Russian and French.

Vietnam-Cuba cultural exchange in review hinh anh 2One of the Cuban books translated into Vietnamese 

In 2019, the publishing house translated Dang Thuy Tram’s Diary into Spanish and introduced it to Cuban readers.

Nhat Ky Dang Thuy Tram was penned by female doctor Dang Thuy Tram in the 1960s while she was working in a field hospital in Quang Ngai province. The young doctor was killed by US troops in June 1970 at the age of 27.

The diary was found and preserved by American soldier Fred Whitehurst, who donated it to the Vietnam Center and Archives at Texas Tech University 35 years later. Officials, with the aid of veteran Tom Engelmann and American writer Lady Borton, were able to locate Tram's family, and the diary was returned to them in 2005.

Meanwhile, in the early 1970s, the National Political Publishing House published Fidel Castro’s courtroom defence speech “La historia me absolvera” (History will absolve me).Certain books by Castro were published by Youth Publishing House in 2013.

Other publishing houses like People’s Army Publishing House, Social Sciences Publishing House and Vietnam News Agency Publishing House also joined these efforts.

It is noteworthy that a book collecting Castro’s statements on Vietnam at more than 100 forums in Cuba and the world from 1964 to 2005, titled “Fidel Castro: Vietnam chien dau va hy sinh vi tat ca dan toc tren the gioi,”(Fidel Castro: Vietnam fights and sacrifices for all nations worldwide), was issued by Vietnam News Agency Publishing House in 2018.

Vietnam-Cuba cultural exchange in review hinh anh 3Publishing houses like Social Sciences Publishing House and Vietnam News Agency Publishing House also joined these efforts.

Meanwhile, The Gioi Publishers has contributed to promoting Vietnamese politics and literature books in Cuba, including those on General Vo Nguyen Giap like “Tong hanh dinh trong mua xuan dai thang” (The general headquarters during the spring of brilliant victory – El cuartel general en la primavera victoriosa), and “Chien tranh nhan dan, quan doi nhan dan” (People’s war, people’s army - Guerra del pueblo, ejecito del pueblo).

Manh Tu is one of the translators who have contributed to spreading Vietnamese literature works like “Chiec luoc nga” (The ivory comb- El peine de marfil) and Truyen Kieu (The tale of Kieu) in Cuba, and vice versa.

Many Cuban journalists and writers like Marta Rojas, Raul Valdes Vivo and Felix Pita Rodriguez who had worked at battlefields in Vietnam during the wartime also wrote many works featuring the local land and people./.