CUBAN Parliament president Esteban Lazo says many of the country’s cadres and institutions have travelled to Vietnam to study its experiences as Cuba continues engaging the socio-economic reform paths.
Meanwhile, Lazo told his Vietnamese hosts in Hanoi on Monday that while Cuba and the US had reestablished relations, Havana “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.”
He hoped the new US government of President Donald Trump “will respect that inalienable right and advance in relations for the benefit of both peoples.”
According to a note in the Cuban media, Lazo said Cuba valued Vietnamese experiences in perfecting people’s power.
“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,” he said.
Lazo, who is Communist Party of Cuba politburo member, told the Third Plenary Session of the 14th National Assembly in the presence of Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc that Cuba’s strategic relationship with Vietnam was a high priority.
He said there was 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 said after his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan introduced him before the House.
He informed the assembly that the 7th party congress in 2016 and recently the National Assembly of People’s Power 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.
On Cuba-Vietnam bilateral ties, Lazo said numerous Cuban cadres and institutions had traveled to Vietnam to study that country’s experiences.
“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 said.
Lazo said the two countries had seen broad exchanges of high-level delegations, which allowed 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 said. “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.”
Lazo recalled the famous words of Fidel Castro, “For Vietnam, we are ready to give even our own blood”.
He thanked the Vietnamese authorities and people “for having accompanied us in the difficult moments of the loss of the historical leader of our Revolution [Fidel]. 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 [commander-in-chief] to express the condolences of the Vietnamese people.”
Lazo also expressed gratitude for Vietnam’s support in the fight against the US economic, commercial and financial blockade against the island.
On Havana-Washington relations, Lazo 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.” He hoped that “the new US government will respect that inalienable right and advance in relations for the benefit of both peoples.”
During bilateral meetings, Cuba and Vietnam parliament heads discussed how the two legislative bodies could work to continue 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 those ties were 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.
Today, 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 concludes on Sunday.