Vietnam, Cuba seek to bolster all-round ties
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc held talks with First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and President of Cuba Miguel Díaz Canel in Havana on September 19.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc holds talks with President of Cuba Miguel Díaz Canel in Havana on September 19 (Photo: VNA)
The two leaders briefed each other on the recent situation in each country, while discussing measures to continue to bolster the fraternal solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States and peoples, especially in the areas of consumer goods manufacturing, food and aquatic production and renewable energy. They also mentioned regional and international issues of shared concern.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc conveyed best regards from Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and senior leaders of the Party and State of Vietnam to President Miguel Díaz Canel and General Raul Castro and other leaders of Cuba.
He congratulated the Party, State and people of Cuba on their recent achievements as well as the success of the eighth National Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, expressing his belief that Cuban people will successfully carry out the congress’ resolutions and gain new attainments in the path of building a prosperous and stable socialist country of Cuba.
President Miguel Díaz-Canel thanked Vietnam for giving sincere and whole-hearted support to Cuba’s revolutionary cause in the past and at present, especially in this hard time. He affirmed that Cuba highly values Vietnam’s socio-economic development experience.
Both sides expressed their delight at new and positive steps of development in bilateral special traditional ties in all fields, including politics-diplomacy, security-defence, economy-trade-investment, culture-education, and science-technology. The Vietnam-Cuba cooperation in agriculture and food security has been maintained with rice, coffee, maize and aquatic development projects, they noted.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and President Miguel Díaz-Canel agreed that in the time to come, both sides should continue to strengthen their political relations through the exchange of delegations at all levels regularly with flexible forms, while enhancing the efficiency of cooperation mechanisms, including the theoretical conference between the two Parties, the Inter-Government Committee, the political consultations between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and policy dialogue between the two Defence Ministries.
Vietnam and Cuba should work closely together to effectively implement the new trade agreement, while optimising preferences from the deal, thus raising two-way trade to a level that matches the potential and sound political ties between the two countries, they said.
President Phuc expressed hope that Cuba will create favourable conditions for Vietnamese investors in Cuba, especially those operating in consumer goods production, food and aquatic product export, and renewable energy.
Both sides should continue to seek specific measures to turn cooperation potential in health care into specific collaboration programmes, they concurred.
The two leaders also pledged to create favourable conditions for and working closely together in the implementation of joint projects in rice, maize, coffee development and aquatic farming in Cuba, toward the goal of Cuba's self-sufficiency in food. The two sides will also foster cooperation in culture, science, technology, sports, tourism and training, they said.
On behalf of the Party, State and people of Cuba, President Miguel Diaz Canel presents the Vietnamese State leader with José Marti Order, the noblest reward of the Cuban State (Photo: VNA)
President Phuc thanked the Cuban side to give highest priority to the provision of Cuban-developed COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam, describing this as evidence for the timely support that Cuba has always given to Vietnam like Cuban leader Fidel Castro saying “for Vietnam, Cuba is willing to shed its blood”.
The two leaders shared pleasure at the close coordination and mutual support at international organisations and multilateral forums, especially the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement. They also affirmed their support to the settlement of disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law.
On the occasion, President Phuc announced Vietnam’s gift of 5,000 tonnes of rice and a number of medical equipment to Cuba. Some Vietnamese ministries and sectors also offered presents to Cuba, including 1,000 tonnes of rice from construction firms, and 100 tonnes of maize from the Ministry of Defence, and medical equipment and IT software from other ministries.
President Phuc also took the opportunity to invite President Miguel Diaz Canel to visit Vietnam soon.
Following the talks, on behalf of the Party, State and people of Cuba, President Miguel Diaz Canel presented the Vietnamese State leader with José Marti Order, the noblest reward of the Cuban State, in recognition of President Phuc’s contributions to the acceleration of solidarity, friendship and cooperation between the two Parties, States and people.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Cuban President Miguel Díaz Canel witness the signing of a number of agreements between the two countries (Photo: VNA)
The two leaders also witnessed the signing of a number of agreements between the two countries, including a plan of action to implement the middle-term economic agenda in the 2021-2025 period; a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two ministries of health, a plan to conduct a project to support Cuba’s aquatic farming sector in the third phase between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Cuba’s Ministry of Food Industry; a cooperation programme in the 2022-2023 between the two ministries of justice; a MoU on cooperation plan in cybersecurity between the Ministry of Information and Communications and Cuba’s Ministry of Communications.
Within the visit’s framework, the two sides issued a joint statement of the two countries on the occasion of the Vietnamese President’s Cuban visit.
Vietnamese, Cuban parties strengthen ties
Deputy head of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee's Commission for External Relations Truong Quang Hoai Nam had a working session with leaders of the Communist Party of Cuba (CPC) Central Committee's Department of External Relations in Havana on September 19.
Nam lauded the achievements that Cuba has gained in various fields such as education, health care, and biotechnology, while sharing difficulties that Cuba is facing.
The leaders of the CPC Central Committee's Department of External Relations, including acting head of the department Angel Arzuaga Reyes and deputy head of the department Juan Carlos Marsan, expressed their delight at the growing ties between Vietnam and Cuba, including sound relations between the two Parties and the two agencies for external relations.
They emphasised the need to continue promoting the bilateral political relations, especially educating the youth and young Party members of both sides on the special friendship between the two countries. It is necessary to further strengthen bilateral economic, trade and investment partnership to match the sound political ties between the two Parties and nations, they stressed.
Both sides concurred to continue working closely together and effectively implementing the cooperation agreements between the two Parties in the 2018-2023 period, including the exchange of delegations at all levels and the organisation of the fifth theoretical conference as well as activities to mark the 55th anniversary of the historical meeting between Cuban leader Raúl Castro and President Ho Chi Minh (1966-2021).
Angel Arzuaga Reyes took the chance to invite Le Hoai Trung, member of the CPV Central Committee and head of the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations, to visit Cuba.
On the occasion, the commission presented 100,000 facemasks to the CPC Central Committee’s Department of External Relations.
Vietnam, Cuba’s defence leaders hold talks
Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien held talks with Minister of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces Alvaro Lopez Miera in Havana on September 20 morning.
Deputy Minister Chien is accompanying President Nguyen Xuan Phuc during his official visit to Cuba.
At the meeting, Minister Alvaro Lopez Miera highly spoke of President Phuc’s visit to Cuba, saying it reaffirms the solidarity and special brotherhood between the two countries at the time when the world is facing challenges caused by the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both sides welcomed the outcomes of bilateral defence cooperation over recent years which are in line with documents and agreements signed by the two ministries and commitments made by the countries’ leaders. They particularly spoke highly of results achieved in 2020, highlighting the compilation of a set of documents on the Vietnam-Cuba defence partnership over the last six decades (1960 – 2020) as an example.
They agreed to further increase delegation exchanges, high-level dialogues and cooperation in defence industry, personnel training, cyber security, military medicine and other areas that both sides have competitive edges and potential.
They also agreed to coordinate in responding to the pandemic and soon develop and sign a cooperation plan between the two countries’ military medical forces for the next five years.
Thanking the Cuban Ministry of Revolutionary Armed Forces for sending medicines and experts to help Vietnam fight COVID-19, Deputy Minister Chien announced that the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence will present 100 tonnes of corn seeds along with medical supplies and cash, worth around 436,700 USD in total, to its Cuban counterpart.
The Cuban minister also informed that his ministry will donate 150,000 doses of Abdala COVID-19 vaccine and virus treatment medicines to Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defence.
At the end of the talks, the two sides inked a plan for defence cooperation for 2020 – 2022.
Vietnam, Cuba enhance collaboration in information-communications
Vietnam and Cuba have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in information security for 2021-2025.
The document was signed by Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung and Cuban Minister of Communications Mayra Arevich Marín during their working session in Havana on September 19 (local time) within the framework of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to Cuba.
Under the MoU, Vietnam will organise online and in-person seminars and training courses to share management experiences and build a legal environment suitable for the development of science and technology in each country.
The two ministers also exchanged views on the development situation in the fields of post, telecommunications, information technology and information security.
They agreed to strengthen cooperation in training, improving capacity on information security, protection of critical information infrastructure, and response to computer incidents.
On this occasion, Minister Hung presented 30 computers and anti-virus software licenses to the Cuban ministry.
Cuban media spotlight President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit
The high-level visit by Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to Cuba on September 18-20 has grabbed the headlines of Cuban media in recent days.
In a special column, the Cuban News Agency (ACN) run an article underlining the Vietnam-Cuba friendship over the past 60 years.
It recalls historical hallmarks in the two countries’ ties and praises their solidarity and brotherhood.
The article emphasises that after the nations set up diplomatic relations in December 1960, Cuba and Vietnam started a special relationship coupled with unconditional support and mutual trust.
The Cuba-Vietnam relations, founded by leaders Fidel Castro Ruz of Cuba and Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam, have been strengthened during the past six decades, it affirms.
Granma daily, the newspaper of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), ran an article stating that the Cuba-Vietnam friendship stands the test of time, adding that President Phuc’s visit to Cuba this time reiterates the friendship between the two countries.
Of note, Canal Caribe television channel broadcast a special programme on September 19 reporting official activities of the Vietnamese President during his Cuba visit, along with documentaries on the countries’ relations and an interview with Ambassador to Cuba Le Thanh Tung on the occasion.
Other dailies, official e-newspapers, radio and television channels in Cuba also made extensive coverage on the visit by President Phuc to the Caribbean nation.
Vietnam, Cuba seek to enhance efficiency of Inter-Government Committee mechanism
Vietnamese Minister of Construction Nguyen Thanh Nghi and Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, co-chairs of the Vietnam-Cuba Inter-Government Committee, had a working session in Havana on September 20 to seek ways to strengthen partnership between the two countries through this mechanism.
Both sides reaffirmed that they will work closely together to hasten ministries and sectors of the two countries to implement high-level agreements reached by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, while fostering their collaboration in all fields to match the sound relations between Vietnam and Cuba.
Concluding the session, Minister Nghi symbolically handed over to Minister Rodrigo Malmierca 5,000 tonnes of rice as gifts from the Vietnamese State and people to the Cuban people, along with 1,000 tonnes of rice presented by Vietnamese construction enterprises.
The two ministers also witnessed the signing of two memoranda of understanding between Cuban tourism firms Gran Caribe and Cubanacán and Vietnam’s City Land real estate company on cooperation in forming two joint ventures in construction and hotel, as well as a solar power purchase deal between Thai Binh company and Cuban state-owned power company Unión Eléctrica (UNE).
Earlier, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz had a meeting with Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung and Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien, during which the ministers sought ways to promote bilateral trade and investment ties in the future.
The Vietnamese side suggested that Cuba design preferential policies and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese businesses investing in the country. Minister Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz underlined Cuba’s wish to promote economic, trade and investment cooperation with Vietnam.
Both sides shared belief that the Vietnam-Cuba economic and trade ties will be further bolstered in the time to come with more practical outcomes.
Vietnam will continue to consolidate its position as the largest investor from the Asia-Oceania region in Cuba and provide products of Cuba’s demand such as consumer goods, footwear, garments and construction materials. Meanwhile, Cuba wishes to export more products of its strength to Vietnam, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology products and medical services.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets with Gen. Raul Castro Ruz
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with General Raul Castro Ruz on September 20 (local time) as part of his official visit to Cuba.
The President conveyed greetings of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and other Party and State leaders, and the people of Vietnam to the Cuban General.
President Phuc and Gen. Castro Ruz recalled the latter’s first visit to Vietnam 55 years ago in his capacity as Second Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) Central Committee, which opened up a new period for solidarity and mutual support between the two countries.
President Phuc informed Gen. Castro Ruz about the contents of his talks and meetings with leaders of the Cuban Party, State and National Assembly during the trip, which are expected to deepen the special traditional friendship, and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cuba in a more effective manner.
Leaders of Vietnamese and Cuban ministries and agencies also held meetings to discuss specific cooperation measures.
The President reaffirmed Vietnamese’s solidarity and support to the Cuban people, and thanked the Caribbean nation for its timely assistance to Vietnam during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cuba has sent doctors, presented treatment drugs and shared its homemade Abdala vaccine with Vietnam in the combat, he added.
According to the Vietnamese leader, the two countries reached an agreement on the supply and transfer of production technology of the vaccine, and are working on a cooperation plan regarding COVID-19 vaccines for children.
The Cuban General said he always keeps a close watch on Vietnam’s development, expressing his delight at achievements Vietnam has recorded.
President Phuc said he wishes to welcome the General to visit Vietnam again when conditions permit.
President visits Cuba's leading biotechnology centre
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on September 20 visited the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) in Havana as part of his official visit to Cuba.
Established in 1986, the CIGB is a leading biotechnology centre of Cuba. It has successfully researched and produced five types of vaccines against COVID-19, including Abdala, making Cuba the first and only Latin American-Caribbean country to research and produce its own COVID-19 vaccines.
According to Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan, during the President's visit, the health ministries of Vietnam and Cuba have reached agreements on eight cooperation contents in research, training, technology transfer and production of medicines.
At the CIGB, President Phuc witnessed the signing of an agreement between the CIGB and the Centre for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals (POLYVAC) under the Vietnamese Ministry of Health on purchasing 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Cuba. Businesses of both sides also signed deals on the transfer of Soberana 2 COVID-19 vaccine.
He expressed his hope that health care partnership between the two countries will continue to grow effectively to match the sound relations between the two sides.
The Vietnamese State leader is scheduled to visit General Raul Castro Ruz before leaving Havana for Santiago, the second largest city of Cuba, where he will lay wreaths at Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s grave and the monument commemorating national hero Jose Marti.
After concluding the Cuban visit, President Phuc will head to New York for a general debate of the UN General Assembly’s 76th session and a number of bilateral activities in the US./.