Photo: Prensa Latina

We have come to learn and take advantage of everything that corresponds with our characteristics and can serve us in perfecting the People’s Power system, the President of Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power, Esteban Lazo, stated in Hanoi this Monday, June 12.

Speaking during the Third Plenary Session of the 14th National Assembly, in the presence of President Tran Dai Quang and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the member of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) Political Bureau noted that the island’s strategic relationship with Vietnam is a high priority.

He also stressed that there is enormous potential for further development of bilateral ties in areas of mutual interest.

We have vital tasks to fulfill in our corresponding missions, especially in the adoption of the legislation we require, as well as in the monitoring and control of the implementation of the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines of the Party and the Revolution, Lazo stated, after having been presented to the Vietnamese parliament by his counterpart and host, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, who offered details of his revolutionary career.

In this regard, he recalled that the 7th PCC Congress and the National Assembly of People’s Power recently approved three fundamental documents: the Conceptualization of the Cuban Economic and Social Model of Socialist Development; the Foundations of the National Social and Economic Development Plan through 2030: Vision of the Nation, Axes, and Strategic Sectors; and the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines of the Party and the Revolution for the period 2016-2021.

Referring to bilateral ties, Lazo noted that numerous Cuban cadres have traveled to Vietnam to study its experiences and stressed that, “in Cuba we are beginning along these paths, because we have been updating our Model for just five years, while you have been advancing with the Renewal for 30 years.”

He explained that the two countries have seen broad exchanges of high-level delegations, which have allowed for frank dialogue and at the same time the identification of the need to equate their economic, trade and cooperation relations with the excellent and very high level political ties.

We parliamentarians have this obligation and we can contribute to this process, he stressed.

Likewise, he highlighted, “We are united by a beautiful history of fraternal bonds, and we have the responsibility to make these broader and stronger, to transmit them to future generations,” while recalling the famous words of Fidel Castro: “For Vietnam, we are ready to give even our own blood.”

Lazo also expressed to the Vietnamese authorities and people, “our sincere gratitude for having accompanied us in the difficult moments of the loss of the historical leader of our Revolution.”

We are moved on recalling that the President of this National Assembly was the first to arrive at the funeral of our Comandante en Jefe to express the condolences of the Vietnamese people, he added.

The Cuban parliamentary leader also expressed gratitude for Vietnam’s support in the fight against the U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade against the island.

During his speech, Lazo referred to the reestablishment of relations with the United States, and reaffirmed that “We will never give up the right to continue building the economic, political and social system that has been democratically and freely chosen by our people.” Similarly, he noted his hope that “the new U.S. government will respect that inalienable right and advance in relations for the benefit of both peoples.”

The president of the National Assembly of People’s Power spoke to Vietnamese parliamentarians after having attended the official reception ceremony and meeting with his counterpart.
During this bilateral meeting, the parties discussed how the two legislative bodies can work to continue to contribute to strengthening and expanding the relations between the two countries.

Later, the Cuban delegation toured the Vietnamese National Assembly’s Historical Hall, where key moments of these ties are recorded, including the presence of Fidel Castro in areas liberated in September 1973. They also visited the Assembly’s Museum, which treasures valuable pieces found during excavations to build the parliamentary building.

These activities marked the beginning of the official program of the Cuban parliamentary delegation in Vietnam, integrated by the chairs of the International Relations Commission, Yolanda Ferrer; of the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Commission, José Luis Toledo; the head of the Cuba-Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Group, Joaquín Bernal; and Caridad Diego, a member of the International Relations Commission.

This Monday, June 12, Lazo will be welcomed by other national leaders as part of the official program of activities to be held in Hanoi until tomorrow.

On Wednesday, the delegation will visit areas of the northern province of Son La before traveling to Ho Chi Minh City and the southern province of Ben Tre. Their tour of the country will conclude on Sunday.