Vietnamese journalist Vu Le Ha reports on Cuban current affairs. Photo: Nuria Barbosa León

The young Vu Le Ha from Vietnam, spreads the love and affection he received in Cuba through his camera lens and the articles he writes as a correspondent for the Vietnam News Agency.

Vu Le Ha arrived in Cuba in 1998 to study English at the University of Havana, inspired by his mother’s stories, who worked for many years as a journalist on the island, and in order to earn a university degree.

“I chose to study English, because learning another language means gaining a more intimate understanding of a culture, deciphering its different customs and traditions, making new friends and gaining indescribable experiences,” he states.

What do you like most about Cuba?
I like the friendliness, affection and solidarity with which Cubans treat us. Cubans are renowned for expressing feelings of love towards others. There exists an affability, a willingness to help, a spirit of collaboration and desire to help make someone feel good. I have received these demonstrations of affection here.
Tell me about a special memory from your time at university…
A gesture which surprised me greatly. Once during my studies I was finding it impossible to understand a certain topic, and the professor came up to me and explained the issue to me once, but after seeing that I continued to have doubts he offered to help me after class, we sat down for many hours working through my uncertainties until I understood. This teacher gave up his free time and with tremendous patience, gave me personal lessons for the pure delight of teaching me. It was a selfless, kind gesture done with the intent to communicate knowledge. This spirit of offering help remains imprinted on me.
Why did you come back to Cuba for a second time?
In 2005 when I graduated I had to return to my country, my best friend saw me off at the airport, crying I told him: “I don’t know when or how, but I’m going to come back.” After eight years I responded to a call for applicants and returned. When I came back the first thing I did was go to the Malecón, I felt the Cuban heat once again and was so excited.

Today, I think of Cuba as a second homeland.
What does being in Cuba mean from a professional perspective?
I am experiencing important historic moments.I reported on the release of the Five, the process of talks between the U.S. and Cuba toward the normalization of relations, ongoing events and breaking news in the process of globalization.
I’ve seen and reported on how the Revolution is revolutionizing itself through the updating of the country’s economic model in order to build a better socialism. I love this land and in my work I am responsible for reporting on Cuban current affairs for a broad public.
I contribute to providing press coverage of the island given my passion and affection for my two homelands.

I am very thankful to life for the opportunity it has given me to get to know this Caribbean island.

Describe Cuba in one word…

Cuba!? … love.