April 12, 2024

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With Fidel Castro in Vietnam

With Fidel Castro in Vietnam

By Gustavo Roberino Dulles

And that meeting opened the doors to a more fruitful, close and fraternal phase in the Cuban-Vietnamese relations of friendship and solidarity, which were already numerous and close and grew as the Yankee genocidal intervention became more aggressive and criminal. Hardworking kids.

Cuba’s national hero, José Martí, sang for both of them in his unforgettable “A Walk Through the Land of Anamis”, published in the children’s magazine La Edad de Oro, something I remembered when they told me I would go to the front of the team of Cuban journalists that would accompany the President and Ministers Then and First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba in that unprecedented visit.

It will be the culmination of an extensive and intense journey that began in Guyana on the Caribbean Sea, followed by Guinea in Africa, participation in the crucial Fourth Summit of Non-Aligned Countries in Algeria, as well as visits to Iraq and India.

Respected and experienced Cuban journalists, as I recall, made up that media group, including Juan Marrero, Carlos Moura, Ricardo Saenz, director Santiago Alvarez, cameraman Ivan Napoles, and cameraman Jorge Oller. The Prensa Latina correspondents will give them their support.

In my case, I knew the country before as I had served as First Secretary of the Cuban Embassy during the years 1970-1971. He was also part of the Cuban Committee of Solidarity with Vietnam, led by Melba Hernandez – the memorable heroine of the attack on the Moncada Barracks (July 26, 1953) – starting in 1966.

The Cuban people were well aware, through our media, of the news obtained 15,000 kilometers away that summed up every day of the activity of Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro throughout the 18 days of this important tour.

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The trip had great political significance for Cuba in the midst of difficult and sad moments, as it coincided with the fascist military coup in Chile against President Salvador Allende and his downfall in the fighting.

It was known, since he announced this on several occasions, the Cuban leader’s interest in getting to know Vietnam and getting to know it there, firsthand, near its leaders, its heroic fighters, and its brave and generous people.

Vietnam was and still is an inspiring example to all, in war and peace, of knowing how to judiciously combine prudence with daring, patience with impetus, the deepest reflections with decisive impulses, at the most appropriate and auspicious moments.

All this, of course, the leader of the Cuban Revolution knew, but, according to his custom, he was interested to feel it personally and to learn more about details and circumstances from which the keen eyes of his observer would not escape.

In my opinion, the visit to Ho Chi Minh’s home and workplace particularly impressed him, amidst the conditions of humility and austerity that surrounded the presence of the legendary and beloved leader of the Vietnamese people, as well as the room in which he forever expired. Twentieth century.

Let us not forget that, alas, Fidel Castro and Uncle He, as they call him, could not meet in person, and that the mutual devotion that arose between them in those difficult times, when they both led the fight against the common imperialist enemy, was forged. Inextricably based on common morality, decency and principles.

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Also of interest is a visit to the Army Museum, where, among other things, the Vietnamese hero of a thousand battles, General Vo Nguyen Giap, personally explained to him the development of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, which liberated Vietnam from French colonialism. .

Cuban never stopped asking questions, interested in learning more about the events that changed the course of history.

The first president of South Vietnam

Considering Fidel Castro’s historic first visit to Vietnam today, as he did so on two other occasions later, there is no doubt that his crossing into the liberated lands in the south, accompanied by Prime Minister Phan Van Dong, was the most remarkable, memorable and most media coverage of those days. .

No news outlet in the world – friend or foe – could ignore the fact that he was the only world leader or head of state and government present in the liberated lands of South Vietnam, and he expressed it so directly, with stakes. That this meant Cuba’s boundless solidarity with the struggle against the Yankees for national salvation, which was carried out by the Vietnamese people and was about to culminate in victory.

To Prensa Latina and her work to realize the development and the implications of this event for the Cuban people and the rest of the world, we will add as an undoubted sign of gratitude the cooperation extended by the Vietnamese News Agency (VNA), always fraternal and ready to support the Latin American News Agency.

My special reminder of the memory of my dear Dao Tong, the then director, and his collaborators.

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I cannot conclude these lines without repeating some thoughts already expressed, but which may be appropriate: the spirit of resistance and diligence shown by Vietnam in the war, put into the function of development, together with conventional wisdom, prudence, discipline and orderliness. To his people and their leaders, especially Ho Chi Minh.

This may, in my opinion, explain why this socialist Southeast Asian country of nearly 100 million people is respected and admired by the whole world as the author of the extraordinary achievement of peace, after the achievement of war: achieving sustainable and growing economic growth. and social development and overcoming difficulties and obstacles.

With regard to its relations with Cuba, we can say that they have successfully withstood the test of time and are developing rapidly in an environment of solidarity, cooperation and friendship, adapted to the new conditions of today’s world, but not subject to change.

And this was possible because we were guided by the unity, sincerity, respect and mutual assistance taught us by Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro, who were the architects of that brotherhood.


Ramsey Cuban journalist. He was the general manager of Prensa Latina (1973-1984).