During the wartime and after Vietnam’s 1975 victory, Cuba granted Vietnam a great deal of support. Cuba sent engineers and builders to help Vietnam in major construction projects. In 1973, Fidel Castro was the first and the only foreign state leader to visit Vietnam’s liberated regions. There, he held up the flag of the Vietnam Southern Liberation Front which inspired Vietnamese soldiers. His statement “For Vietnam, we are ready to devote our blood” has been proved in history of bilateral ties.
Vietnam and Cuba have been sharing more than 5 decades of brotherhood, and mutual assistance between the two peoples is exceptional. During Vietnam’s anti-US war, beside material and spiritual support, Cuba received and covered all expenses for a large number of Vietnamese students, some 1000 in the 1960s and 1970s. For these students, the image of the revolutionary icon Fidel Castro never fades from their minds.
Nguyen Thi Loc studied in Cuba for several years during the 1960s,said "You know, I got the news right after the announcement of Fidel Castro’s passing away. It is difficult to hear the news. It is something very special for my family, particularly for me and my husband who were educated in Cuba and lived there for quite many years. We as many other students who studied in Cuba considered Cuba our second homeland and the passing away of Fidel Castro is a big loss for the Cuban people, for the government of Cuba as well. It’s difficult to talk about him but I just want to say it’s a big loss for me, for mankind."
Nguyen Van Bac, who studied and worked in Cuba during the 1970s, said he always remembers and treasures the time in Cuba, the friendliness of Cuban people, especially the special support Fidel Castro reserved for Vietnamese people there, "Fidel Castro gave special care not only to Cuban people but also other people. He always wanted to ensure equality for everyone. Mr. Castro is an icon for solidarity, and a symbol of sacrifice for people’s benefits. Cuba has a special relationship with Vietnam. I will never forget Fidel Castro’s saying: “For Vietnam, we are ready to devote our blood”.