return icon

Enhancing the special friendship between Vietnam and Cuba

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Vietnam-Cuba diplomatic ties (December 2), Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Lianys Torres Rivera talks about the development of the special solidarity,

loyalty and exemplary relations in international relations and cooperation across different aspects between the two countries.

Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Lianys Torres Rivera.


Sixty years have passed since Vietnam and Cuba established diplomatic ties. Looking back on the journey, how do you evaluate the friendship and solidarity between the two peoples as well as highlights in the relations between the two countries?

Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera: Over the past 60 years, the brotherly solidarity between Vietnam and Cuba has become a prime example of international relations. The special brotherhood has been forged by extremely difficult circumstances. Cuba was the first nation to form a Committee for Solidarity with South Vietnam, the first country in Latin America to have established diplomatic ties with Vietnam and also the first in the Western hemisphere to receive Vietnamese students.

The relationship between Cuba and Vietnam was shaped by the historical mark of the leaders from the two countries. Cuban leader Fidel Castro and President Ho Chi Minh laid the foundation for the special friendship between the two peoples. The Commander-in-Chief has forever left deep impressions on the hearts of Vietnamese people with his pledge that Cuban people were willing to spill their blood for Vietnam. Fidel Castro was also the first politician who came to the liberation region of the south in Vietnam in 1973 when Vietnam was in the resistance war to raise the flag of the Liberation Front and convey his message of supporting Vietnamese revolutionary soldiers fighting against imperialism. Our beloved Uncle Ho also pointed out the deep nature of the bilateral relations and affirmed that Vietnamese and Cuban people would together care and cultivate their common ideals.

The cooperation between the Party, State, Government and people of the two countries has been increasingly strengthened through systematic institutional exchange mechanisms and so far covered all fields, from the political organisations of the Communist Party and Youth Unions, National Assembly, judiciary and defense agencies, solidarity and women unions, press agencies and educational organisations. The highlights were the visits at all levels. Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s official visit to Cuba in March 2018 laid the foundation for the tight development of bilateral relations between the two countries, with over 20 agreements signed. A delegation, led by Politburo member and First Vice President of the Council of State Salvador Valdés Mesa, visited Vietnam and attended the inauguration ceremony of a park named Fidel Castro in Quang Tri. Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel paid an official visit to Vietnam in November 2018 and signed a trade agreement to boost the bilateral relationship.

On the basis of mutual trust and similarity of the political system as well as the joint efforts to build socialism in accordance with the characteristics of each, Vietnam and Cuba have strengthened their exchange of experiences to contribute to Vietnam’s Doi Moi (Renewal) cause and the process of updating economic and social models in Cuba. The special friendship between the two nations was born during hard times. Vietnam has sincerely helped Cuba during its most difficult times, in particular during the COVID-19 outbreak, when the Vietnamese Government and people provided Havana with financial aid, food and medical equipment.

In his message to the High-level General Debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong called for the abolition of all unilateral sanctions to limit the economic development in both countries, affecting people's lives, especially the blockade imposed on Cuba nearly 60 years ago. In the context that Vietnam has successfully assumed the role of ASEAN Chair, the ratification of Cuba’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) is a step towards strengthening the relationship of the Latin American country with Southeast Asian nations. 

Cuba and Vietnam maintained bilateral cooperation across many aspects and obtained great achievements. How do you assess the prospects for cooperation between the two countries in the future, especially in the fields of strength such as agriculture, construction and healthcare?

Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera: The bilateral cooperation between the two countries has strongly developed in many fields including agriculture, medicine, biotechnology, construction, science, technology, culture and education. Cuba provides Vietnamese students with many scholarships; meanwhile, Cuban young people also receive scholarships to study language and culture in Vietnam. In the framework of common exchanges in response to COVID-19, Cuba transferred to Vietnam both their experience in treatment and a large number of drugs and biotechnological products to the central provinces. Medicine is one of the most promising fields for the enhancement of trade cooperation based on Cuba’s well deserved reputation in the field. Through agricultural projects for rice and coffee production in Cuba, Vietnam’s support has been of great significance to the Latin American island nation.

Vietnam and Cuba are working to promote trade and ensure the presence of Vietnamese businesses in investment projects in Cuba. During the Cuba visit of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in March 2018, Cuba supported Vietnamese companies’ contributions to the country’s development while Cuba's policy to update the economic model was implemented. Vietnamese companies are now present in the Mariel Special Development Zone and have enhanced their cooperation in the production of construction materials and necessities. In 2018, the Vimariel Limited Company was inaugurated at the zone and become the first Vietnamese franchise in Cuba. The Cuban Government also wishes to continuously improve the business environment, perfect the legal mechanism to optimise foreign investment, including the establishment of a one-door mechanism for foreign investment. We hope that these transitions will attract more Vietnamese companies to working as part of the nation’s economic development. Two decrees on commercial mortgage and guarantees that have recently been adopted in Cuba will encourage more foreign investment, including from Vietnamese enterprises. The expansion of economic and trade relations is a priority on the bilateral agenda and a task set by the leaders of the two countries.

The special brotherhood and mutual trust have been the most valuable legacies over the past 60 years. Vietnam and Cuba will continue to stand side by side in the work of building socialism as well as leaving younger generations an exemplary long-standing legacy of friendship.

Thank you very much!

Nhan Dan

Vietnam treasures solidarity, friendship with Cuba: Deputy PM

Vietnam treasures solidarity, friendship with Cuba: Deputy PM

Vietnam and Cuba have enjoyed a special friendship, solidarity and mutual trust in the past six decades, said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on December 1.


Vietnam treasures solidarity, friendship with Cuba: Deputy PM
Photo exhibition highlights Vietnam-Cuba friendship


Doha Cup 2023: Vietnam's U23 football team return home with "empty hand"

Vietnam’s U23 team left Doha Cup 2023 with an "empty hand" after a close loss to their Kyrgyz rivals on March 29 (Vietnam time).


Government issues details on aid for ethnic minority housing, land reclamation

GDP growth of 3.32% in Q1 nears lowest level in 13 years

Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3.32% in the first quarter of the year, higher only than the growth rate of 3.21% recorded in the first quarter of 2020 in the 2011 to 2023 period, according to the General Statistics Office.

Four Japanese banks to provide US$300 million for Vietnamese renewable energy

Four Japanese banks are set to co-finance a total of US$300 million to provide credit lines to power producers using renewable energy in the nation as part of efforts to help the growing country in its decarbonising process.

15 short stories by Vietnamese writer published in RoK

A collection of 15 short stories written by local author Nguyen Huy Thiep were introduced to Korean readers by Wisdom Publishing House in March.

Hanoi’s ancient pagoda in the red-silk cotton tree season

In March, red-silk cotton trees bloom, showing off their beauty at the thousand-year-old Thay Pagoda in Quoc Oai district in Hanoi.

VN Government calls for broad-based measures to help realty sector

The Vietnamese Government has recently urged ministries to take measures to help the realty sector get back on track and sustain its healthy growth.

EC drops health certificates requirement for Vietnamese noodles

The European Commission (EC) has recommended removing Vietnamese rice noodle and vermicelli brands from conditions that require health certificates and 20 per cent random testing at the port of entry.

Ministry of Industry and Trade proposes draft on cross-border trade

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) is seeking public comments on a legal draft amending Decree No14 on cross-border commercial activities.

Leaders of aviation firms to be disciplined if employees committed wrongdoings

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has just released directive 1480, on enhancing smuggling and commercial fraud prevention among aviation employees.

Golden tourism route links six destinations of Vietnam, China

A golden tourism route connecting six destinations of Vietnam and China was launched in Hanoi on March 28, expected to help the two countries enhance cross-border tourism links.

Vietnamese Foreign Minister holds online talks with Chinese counterpart

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son held online talks with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang on March 28, during which they agreed to intensify all-level exchanges.

Vietnam International Travel Mart 2023 to spotlight cultural tourism

The Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) themed “Cultural tourism” will take place on April 13-16 at the Cultural Friendship Palace in Hanoi, featuring 450 pavilions from over 50 localities nationwide, and 15 countries.

Vietnam, ILO sign decent work country programme for 2022 - 2026

The Decent Work Country Programme Vietnam 2022 - 2026 was signed between representatives of the Vietnamese Government, workers, and employers and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Hanoi on March 28.

Vietnam vows to control cross ownership in banks

The tightening of control over cross ownership aims to stop crises at banks.