NA leader’s Cuba visit a success beyond expectations: expert

The freshly concluded visit to Cuba by National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue was a greater-than-expected success, creating a chance for the two countries to enhance their long-standing relations in politics – diplomacy, economy – trade and investment, security – defence, and people-to-people exchange.

So said Dr Ruvislei Gonzalez Saez, Vice President of the Cuba – Vietnam Friendship Association and Director of the International Relations Programme of Cuba, in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) following NA Chairman Hue’s visit.

He described the trip as comprehensive and a demonstration of the special traditional friendship between the two peoples, noting that the Hue was welcomed by the top leaders of Cuba, including revolutionary leader Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the country Miguel Diaz-Canel, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz, and President of the NA of the People’s Power Esteban Lazo Hernandez.

Chairman Hue was the first foreign leader to directly congratulate new leaders of Cuba after its 10th NA was elected and to deliver a speech in front of the Cuban parliament at a special session.

The honours reserved for him shows the specialness of bilateral ties, Gonzalez Saez noted.

The researcher held that Chairman Hue’s visit and his activities in Havana and Santiago de Cuba city were highly meaningful. The trip took place amid the 62nd anniversary of the Giron Victory, the 60th founding anniversary of the Cuban Committee for Solidarity with South Vietnam, and 50 years since Commander-in-chief Fidel Castro visited Vietnam and the liberated zone in Quang Tri. Fidel Castro was the first and only foreign head of state to do so during wartime The visit obtained many concrete results, especially the signing of the 10 agreements and memoranda of understanding between the two sides’ agencies and sectors, he said, highlighting the agreement on parliamentary cooperation between the two NAs, the cooperation deal between the VNA and the Prensa Latina news agency, and the cooperation programmes between the countries’ ministries of justice, science and technology, and construction.

He also pointed out some considerable results in economic ties, including the inauguration of Vietnamese firms’ washing powder and solar power plants at the Mariel Special Economic Zone, where Vietnam is the biggest Asian investor with five businesses committing to invest over 160 million USD.

Vietnam has poured investment into the light industry, farm produce, food, and renewable energy sectors in Cuba, Gonzalez Saez noted, adding that it is the second largest Asian trading partner of his country with bilateral trade approximating 340 million USD and expected to reach 500 million USD soon.

During Chairman Hue’s visit, a Cuba – Vietnam business forum was held for their enterprises to discuss the potential of partnerships in rice, coffee, cereal, animal feed, and meat production and marketing, as well as in hotel renovation projects.

Amid a complicated context facing Cuba, including intensified embargoes and an adverse international situation, the visit showed that Vietnam always stands side by side with Cuba, he said.

It marked a comprehensive re-start of relations and that a new path in the two countries’ ties is taking shape under the leadership of new-generation leaders, who are proving that the ideologies of late President Ho Chi Minh and Commander-in-chief Fidel Castro will live forever with the time-tested fraternity between Cuba and Vietnam, according to the expert./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency