HCM City Honors Fidel Castro’s First Visit with Special Buses

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Fidel Castro’s groundbreaking 1973 visit to Quang Tri province, two special buses toured Ho Chi Minh City on September 30.

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Special Buses Launched in HCM City Commemorating Cuban Leader Fidel’s First Visit to Vietnam
The bus is decorated with pictures of Fidel Castro waving the flag of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam on Hill 41 in Quang Tri in September 1973. Photo: hcmcpv.org.vn

At a ceremony to launch the bus trip held by the Cuban Consulate General in the city, Consul General Ariadne Feo Labrda stressed that Fidel was the first and only head of state in the world to visit the liberated zone in South Vietnam when the war was still going on.

The visit showed the world that Vietnam was not alone in its struggle and affirmed the unconditional support of the Cuban people for Vietnam, she said, as cited by VietnamPlus.

Cuban Minister of Construction Rene Antonio Mesa Villafana said the struggle of the Vietnamese people was not only for Vietnam’s own independence but also for the world’s revolutionary movement for national liberation.

Vietnam has been, and is still an example and a source of encouragement for Cuba’s struggle, he said.

He highlighted that the Cuba-Vietnam relationship has been expanding across the fields despite the far geological distance, economic difficulties, and even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Special Buses Launched in HCM City Commemorating Cuban Leader Fidel’s First Visit to Vietnam
Vietnamese and Cuban officials at the launching ceremony of the bus tour. Photo: hcmcpv.org.vn

Following the ceremony, Minister Rene Antonio Mesa Villafana and the head of the municipal Party Committee’s Commission for Information and Education Phan Nguyen Nhu Khue, along with foreign delegates and representatives from agencies and organizations in HCM City boarded the two buses for the trip around the city.

The buses were decorated with pictures of Fidel Castro waving the flag of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam on Hill 41 in Quang Tri in September 1973.

Earlier, a grand ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s visit to the liberated area in the south of Vietnam (September 1973) took place in Dong Ha City in the south-central province of Quang Tri, Nhan dan (People) Newspaper reported.

The event was jointly organized by the Quang Tri authority, the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Cuban Embassy in Vietnam.

An art performance at the ceremony. (Photo: VNA)
An art performance at the ceremony. Photo: VNA

Prominent guests at the ceremony included President of the National Assembly of People’s Power of Cuba Esteban Lazo Hernandez, Politburo member and standing member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Truong Thi Mai, and Politburo member and Standing Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Tran Thanh Man.

President of the National Assembly of People’s Power of Cuba Esteban Lazo Hernandez thanked the Party, Government, and people of Vietnam for organizing the commemorative event, as well as always maintaining tight solidarity with Cuba in the most difficult times.

He expressed his emotion when visiting the places that Fidel once visited while reiterating the most steadfast support and admiration of the Cuban people for Vietnam.

Fidel Castro’s immortal saying: “For Vietnam, Cuba is willing to shed blood” has become a true symbol of the faithful and pure solidarity and close relation between Vietnam and Cuba, the Cuban official said.

Rosy Huong