Raúl and Díaz-Canel receive Vice President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, and Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, yesterday afternoon received the Vice President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, on an official visit to our country.

During the amicable meeting, the leaders discussed the deep bonds of brotherhood that unite the two peoples, parties, and governments, as well as their countries’ respective experiences in the construction of socialism. They likewise discussed the excellent state of bilateral relations and the implementation of agreements reached between Vietnam and Cuba, along with a number of topics on the international agenda.

The distinguished guest was accompanied by Nguyen Quoc Cuong, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, and Nguyen Trung Thanh, ambassador to Cuba.

Also participating on the Cuban side were Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Political Bureau member and Foreign Minister; and ambassador in Vietnam, Lianys Torres Rivera.

As part of her agenda on the island, the distinguished visitor also met on July 8 with Salvador Valdés Mesa, first vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, among other activities.

Additionally, along with authorities from Cuba’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Vietnamese Vice President toured areas of the Los Palacios agro-industrial combine, in the province of Pinar de Río, in particular those involved in the cooperation project her country sponsors to support the development of rice production here.

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HCM City signs deal with Cuba on science-technology cooperation

The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment of Cuba on June 28 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in development and managing science-technology zones.

Under the MoU, the two sides will share professional knowledge and best practice in setting up, managing and developing scientific-industrial parks and incubators. They are also to exchange information and experts in developing hi-tech zones and support firms wishing to engage in technology transfer and invest in science-technology and hi-tech zones.

Speaking prior to the signing ceremony, Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong welcomed the visit of Cuban Minister of Science, Technology and Environment Elba Rosa Perez Montoya.

He stressed that the city pays special attention to industrial and hi-tech parks, and wishes to intensify cooperation with Cuba in the field of science-technology through specific joint projects, bringing benefits to both sides.

The Cuban minister expressed her impression at the dynamic development of Ho Chi Minh City, and invited the city’s officials to attend the inaugural of Cuba’s first science-technology zone this November.

Minister Elba Rosa Perez Montoya said Cuba is implementing a long-term socio-economic development to 2030 and has adopted many policies to stimulate science-technology and innovation. She noted that Cuba hopes to learn from the experience in development and foreign investment attraction of Vietnam in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular.

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Vietnam asks for Russian help to help preserve Ho Chi Minh corpse

The embalmed body of Vietnam's founding leader lies in a mausoleum in Hanoi, attracting thousands of visitors each year.

Vietnam has formed a special team of experts - including four Russian scientists - to help preserve the embalmed body of the Communist-ruled state's founding leader, Ho Chi Minh, according to a written copy of the official decision seen by Reuters news agency. 

The special council has been created to assess the condition of Ho's corpse, which was first embalmed nearly 50 years ago and work is due to start next month. 

"The council is tasked with proposing plans and scientific measures to preserve and protect the absolute safety of Chairman Ho Chi Minh's body for the long term," Reuters reported the decision as saying.

Several countries have benefitted from the expertise of the Soviet Union's "Lenin Lab", which put the embalmed body of former leader Vladimir Lenin on display in Moscow shortly after his death in 1924.

China, North Korea and Vietnam have all embalmed their founding leaders with assistance from the Soviet Union.

The bodies require regular and expensive upkeep and occasional re-embalming to maintain their condition. 

The late Vietnamese leader, affectionately known as "Uncle Ho" in Vietnam, is preserved in a large Soviet-built mausoleum in the capital, Hanoi, where he is displayed in a glass coffin in the dark interior.

The site attracts thousands of visitors each year. 

Unique chemical mixture

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed a wreath outside the mausoleum in March after the conclusion of his shortened summit with United States President Donald Trump

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Russia started to charge Vietnam for its supply of a unique chemical mixture required to embalm Ho, according to the mausoleum's website. 

In 2003, Vietnam asked Russia to move the production of the chemical cocktail to the Southeast Asian country and dispatched scientists to Moscow to learn the secrets of the Lenin Lab.

"In the early days, Russian experts produced the chemicals secretly, without letting us know," Cao Dinh Kiem, a museum official, told Vietnamese state media in April.

"When they finished, Vietnamese workers were assigned to clean up the site and we got the chance to study the gauze and fluids that remained."

Vietnamese scientists have now mastered the art of mummification, but Russian scientists are still regularly called on to help with the annual maintenance of Ho's body. 

Ho led the Viet Minh independence movement from 1941, defeating the French Union in 1945 and going on to establish the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. He died in 1969.

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Cuba wants to learn Vietnam’s experience in judicial reform

Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council Nguyen Thi Le hosted a reception for a Cuban delegation led by Council of State Secretary Homero Acosta Alvarez, who is also a member of the National Assembly of People’s Power, in HCM City on June 14.

At the meeting, Alvarez voiced his delight to re-visit HCM City, the economic motive force of Vietnam in the Doi moi (Renewal) process. 

He also briefed Le on Cuba’s significant achievements in judicial reform, including the building of a new constitution which received high consensus from the Cuban people in the recent constitutional referendum.

The Cuban official also affirmed that Cuba wants to learn from Vietnam’s experience to revise the constitution, as well as enhance financial self-reliance and decision-making for local authorities through the model of provincial People’s Council. 

For her part, Le thanked Cuba for its support and contributions to the revolutionary cause as well as national construction and development of Vietnam, stressing that the sound bilateral relations have been strengthened by Party and State leaders of both nations through various visits and activities. 

She also informed the Cuban delegation about HCM City’s socio-economic development and activities of the municipal People’s Council and its relations with central agencies.

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NA Vice Chairwoman welcomes Cuban parliamentary delegation

Permanent Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Tong Thi Phong received a parliamentary delegation of Cuba led by Homero Acosta Álvarez, Secretary of the Council of State, and member of the National Assembly of People’s Power, in Hanoi on June 12.

Phong affirmed that Vietnam is always grateful for the assistance Cuba has given in the past and at present, saying the exchange of high-level visits is necessary to assert the political trust between the two countries.

She congratulated Cuba on its important achievements obtained in recent time and its successful parliamentary election.

She talked about the apparatus of the State and the parliament, the leadership of the Party, and other issues interested by Cuban guests.

Homero Acosta Álvarez said the relations between Cuba and Vietnam built and fostered by Leaders Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro have stood the test of time and their friendship has been promoted by young generations.

He hailed Vietnam for helping Cuba during the process of revising its Constitution, and expressed his hope to learn more about the organization of State apparatus.

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Vietnam-Cuba rice production project enters new phase

The fifth phase of the Vietnam-Cuba cooperation project on developing rice production kicked off in Havana on May 29.

Launched in 1999, the project has helped improve Cuba’s research capacity, transfer Vietnam’s technical advances in rice production to the country, apply the advances in non-specialised rice farming areas, build rice seed production and supply models, and develop production models applying technical advances in specialised farming zones.

Cuban Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ydael Perez Brito

It has become one of the symbols of Vietnam-Cuba cooperation in the new period.

By the end of the fourth phase in December 2015, the project had been carried out in 12 out of 15 provinces and cities of Cuba. It had developed 54,000ha of rice production models, up 163 percent from the initial plan, with an average productivity of 4.36 tonnes per ha, compared to 2.5 tonnes per ha before the project implementation.

The fifth phase of the project will continue in the 12 provinces and cities, and is scheduled to last until 2023. It is set to cultivate 200,000ha of rice with an average productivity of 6 tonnes per ha. It looks to satisfy 86 percent of the rice demand in Cuba.

At the launching ceremony, Cuban Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ydael Perez Brito reviewed the local rice production development which has recorded a turning point in productivity since the cooperation project with Vietnam was implemented.

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He appreciated Vietnam’s assistance, which is not only in terms of machinery and seeds but also techniques transferred by enthusiastic experts.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Cuba Nguyen Trung Thanh affirmed that the project is a continuation of the two nations’ special solidarity, and it demonstrates the enormous potential of bilateral cooperation.

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Former Vietnamese President Le Duc Anh Passes Away at 99

Hanoi, Apr 23 (Prensa Latina) Former Vietnamese President Le Duc Anh passed away of natural causes on Monday night in Hanoi at the age of 99, official media reported on Tuesday.

Details about funerals and posthumous tributes to the late statesman will be announced in coming few hours, the Commission for Protection and Healthcare of Officials of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam said.

Despite the care and treatment from doctors, the Party, the State and his families, Le Duc Anh died at his house in Hanoi due to his old age and a cerebral hemorrhage that had kept him in critical condition since February, the release stated.

A four-war veteran, Anh led the Vietnamese troops deployed in Cambodia after Pol Pot genocidal regime was defeated in 1979. Although Vietnam withdrew from the neighboring country in 1989, Ahn is credited with the final defeat of the Khmer Rouge in 1998.

Le Duc Anh was a Minister of Defense from 1978 to 1991 and he assumed the presidency of Vietnam in 1992, until he resigned five years later due to health problems.

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Vietnam to Host Asia-Pacific Co-operative Forum

Hanoi, Apr 13 (Prensa Latina) Experts from the Asia-Pacific Co-operative Alliance will meet in Vietnam April 17-20 to discuss legal frameworks and policies related to the sustainable development of co-operatives in the region.

Some 120 delegates from federations representing companies from various branches in the region will share experiences on the management and working styles of these cooperatives, and their contributions to the solution of economic and social problems in each nation.

Nguyen Ngoc Bao, Chairman of the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance, noted that the forum, headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, south of the country, will also help colleagues from Asia-Pacific and international organizations to learn how cooperatives work in Vietnam.

During the event, a trade promotion fair will be held parallel to the Forum, which will exhibit agricultural, forestry and industrial products and equipment in 350 stands, coming from national companies and cooperatives and from Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.

There are some 22,400 cooperatives in Vietnam, most of them agricultural, with more than seven million members.

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