José Ramón Machado presided, along with other important officials, the meeting that ratified the will of younger generations to continue the revolutionary efforts of Cuba and Vietnam. Photo: Yuniel Labacena facebook profile

Young Cubans and Vietnamese of today are the continuators of a fraternal relationship that has stood the test of time and the aggressions of imperialism.

This was one of the conclusions of the Forum held March 29, with the participation of youth from Cuba and Vietnam and the presence of the Second Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and a Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers, José Ramón Machado Ventura; the member of the Party Political Bureau and First Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez; and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong.

Both parties agreed that the new generations have the mission of keeping the eternal flame of fraternity and cooperation between Hanoi and Havana alive.

The meeting between Cuba’s Young Communist League (UJC) and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union was an opportunity for exchange and dialogue between these two organizations that hold the future of their two countries in their hands.

In this regard, the Vietnamese Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong, noted that during all these years, the geographical distance between Cuba and Vietnam has not prevented the relations of friendship, solidarity, and cooperation.

In contemporary world history, there are very few countries with a relationship as special as the one that unites us, he said. Martí was the sower of the first seed of this friendship and Fidel his best student and an excellent heir to his thought.

More than 50 years after establishing diplomatic relations, our peoples, who previously fought for independence, remain united in the construction and defense of a socialist homeland in each country. “Our young people will preserve and continue to write new pages of history, deepening this brotherhood and support,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cuban First Vice President, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, noted that this meeting was a concrete expression that the close friendship between the two countries was not based on a circumstantial event, has not remained anchored in the past, and does not respond to ephemeral conveniences, as it is founded on deep historical roots.

We in Cuba learned of the Annamese nation through our National Hero José Martí, he stated, and pointed out that we share a common past of resistance and struggle against powerful, unscrupulous adversaries, until finally conquering sovereignty and longed-for independence.

The vast majority of those present, he added, were not yet born when Vietnam and Cuba faced the most intense imperialist attacks, nor did they experience the emotion of victory. But the fact that they have not lived the epic events of the Vietnamese and Cuban struggles can not result in a distancing or oblivion, but rather should be viewed as a starting point and inspiration to discover, in a creative and accessible way, this similar history and the passages it entailed, in order to fully defend it.

Today you collect the fruit of the seed planted by a historic generation. Cuban youth continue to play a fundamental role in updating the economic and social model and the Vietnamese renovation, respectively, stated Díaz-Canel, noting that without the contribution of the young in their respective processes there is no possibility for a just, prosperous, sustainable development model.

Like General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, the First Vice President expressed his full confidence in the solidarity, friendship, and cooperation between the two peoples, principles on which the bilateral ties that will be preserved by present and future generations of Cubans and Vietnamese have been founded, as a valuable treasure.

Before a hundred young people from both nations, Díaz-Canel pointed out that in Cuba, as in Vietnam, we have invariably continued the construction of socialism under the guidance of our respective Communist Parties, and he cited the Comandante en Jefe of the Revolution, an admirer of the feats of this Asian people and defender of their noble cause, who on October 31, 1982, when presented with the Gold Star Order, expressed: “As small rivers were born distant and flowed for a long time, then turbulent and isolated, that is how our people marched until one day they became connected in the wide and tempestuous river of the socialist revolution.”

On behalf of the youth of the two countries, Thu Tran Le Anh, representative of the Vietnamese youth organization in Havana, and Raúl Alejandro Palmero, national president of the Cuban Federation of University Students, reiterated the commitment to continue the glorious path of their heroes, promote patriotic traditions and be worthy of the trust placed in them.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Phu Trong, who completed the second day of his official visit to Cuba March 29, expressed his satisfaction on returning to the island, and observing the achievements of the Cuban people in the updating of their social and economic model.

“I am fully convinced that, under the wise leadership of the PCC headed by esteemed comrade Raúl, you will overcome all challenges, solidly defending the revolutionary gains and obtaining greater, new victories with the aim of building a prosperous and sustainable socialism,” he added.

The exchange between the UJC and the Asian delegation also saw a presentation ceremony of the Order of Friendship, awarded by the Government of Vietnam, to five Cuban internationalist fighters who fought alongside the people of Ho Chi Minh during the war, offering their brave and selfless help to that sisterly nation.

Tong Thi Phong, vice chairperson of the Vietnamese Parliament and Political Bureau member, and Miguel Díaz-Canel, presented the Order to Antonio Mackenzie Osbourne, Antonio Martí Céspedes and Jorge Silverio González Alemán; while Rogelio Santos Rodríguez and José Orozco Cartaya were awarded the Order posthumously.

The event also served as the backdrop for the signing of an exchange and cooperation agreement, which adds to those already in place, by the highest representatives of the Communist youth of Cuba and Vietnam, Susely Morfa and Le Quoc Phong, respectively.

Previously, Cuban Minister of Culture Abel Prieto presented the book Hasta siempre Fidel, which captures the heartfelt tributes of the Cuban people to the Comandante, following his death.