This week Vietnam and Cuba celebrated the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties, and the observance underscores what odd bedfellows two of the world’s last remaining communist countries have become. While Cuba remains socialist and anathema to the U.S. government and especially its large Cuban-American population, Vietnam has embraced a thriving free market economy and cultivated warm relations with the United States — despite remaining nominally under the control of the Communist Party.
At a ceremony in Saigon, the chairman of the city’s People’s Council observed that Vietnam and Cuba have always stood side by side in their national construction and defense towards socialism. Indeed, the relationship between the two countries remains strong, and bilateral cooperation has included the fields of biotechnology, genetic technology, and infrastructure.
For his part, Cuba’s ambassador to Vietnam said the two countries have helped each other overcome economic difficulties by cooperating in trade, investment, cultural, educational, healthcare, science and technology.
Within the United States, meanwhile, the Cuban and Vietnamese populations also have a lot in common: Both are large and influential American communities that were established primarily because they were displaced in their homelands by communist regimes.
More on the Hanoi-Havana connection