Last update 6/16/2011 3:10:00 PM (GMT+7)

Viet Nam, Cuba toast 50 years of friendship

VietNamNet Bridge – The friendship between Viet Nam and Cuba has been constantly fostered since diplomatic relations were established in 1960, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong told Melba Hernandez Rodriguez – the first and former chairwoman of the Cuban Committee for Solidarity with Viet Nam.

Trong said he admired the great contributions made by Rodriguez to the Cuban revolutionary cause and the special feeling she established with the Vietnamese people.

"Viet Nam treasures the special friendship and solidarity it has with Cuba," he said. "The pure and loyal friendship will be fostered by the young generations of the two countries," Trong said.

Later in the day, Trong visited Ben Tre Village in the Bauta District of Artemisa Province, 30km from Havana.

Ben Tre Village was established in 1969 at the initiation of Rodriguez. At the time, the American War in Viet Nam was at its most ferocious.

The village, a model of a new lifestyle village, is the symbol of Viet Nam-Cuba friendship. Many events expressing the Cuban people's solidarity with Viet Nam have been organised there during the past 40 years.

The village now has about 200 homes with more than 1,000 people.

In a reciprocal move in Viet Nam, a sister village of Moncada has been created in Giong Trom district in Ben Tre Province.

Coincidentally, Ben Tre is Trong's native province. The deputy PM said he was delighted to visit the village.

Trong also visited the 140-bed Pedro Kuri Tropical Medicine Institute in Havana which carries out research and treatment on HIV/AIDS.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News