BARELY three days ago, a high-ranking
leader from the Vietnamese Communist Party visited
us. Before leaving, he conveyed to me his wish that
I write some recollections of my visit to the
territory of Vietnam liberated in its heroic fight
against the yankee troops in the south of his
leader of the Revolution in the
I do not really have much time
available, when a large part of the world is
striving to seek a response to the news that a war,
with the use of deadly weapons, is about to break
out in a critical corner of our globalized planet.
However, recalling antecedents, and
the monstrous crimes committed against countries
with lesser economic and scientific development,
will help all peoples to fight for their own
The 40th anniversary of the visit of
an official Cuban delegation to Vietnam falls on
In a Reflection which I wrote
February 14, 2008, I published information about the
Republican candidate to the U.S. Presidency, John
McCain, humiliatingly defeated in his candidacy by
Barack Obama. The latter, at least, could talk in
terms resembling those of Martin Luther King, vilely
assassinated by white racists.
Obama even proposed imitating the
train journey of the austere Abraham Lincoln,
although he never would have been capable of
delivering the Gettysburg Address. Michael Moore
fired at him, "Congratulations, President Obama, for
the Nobel Peace prize, now please earn it."
McCain lost the Presidency of the
United States, but fixed things so as to return to
the Senate, from where he is exercising enormous
pressure on the government of this country.
Combatants in the liberated zone of
Now he is happy, moving his forces
so that Obama can fire the greatest number of
accurate missiles with the capacity to hit with
precision the living forces of the Syrian troops.
Sarin gas is as deadly as atomic
radiation. Nine countries already have nuclear
weapons which are far more deadly than sarin gas.
Data published in 2012 notes that Russia possesses
approximately 16,000 active nuclear warheads, and
the United States around 8,000.
The need to deploy them on enemy
objectives in a question of minutes imposes
procedures for their use.
A third power, China, the most solid
economically, already has the capacity for mutual
assured destruction with the United States. For its
part, Israel exceeds France and Britain in nuclear
technology, but has not allowed one word to be
spoken on the fabulous funds it receives from the
United States and its collaboration with the latter
country in this area. A few days ago, it dispatched
two missiles to test the response capacity of U.S.
destroyers in the Mediterranean pointed at Syria.
What then is the power of such a
small, advanced group of countries?
one of the captured U.S. tanks.
In order to extract the enormous
energy derived from a hydrogen nucleus it is
necessary to create a gas plasma of more than 200
million degrees centigrade, the heat needed to force
the atoms of deuterium and tritium to fuse and
release energy, according to a BBC dispatch which
seems to be well informed on the subject. This is
already a scientific discovery, but how much will
need to be invested to transform these objectives
Our suffering humanity is waiting.
We are not a mere handful; we already total more
than seven billion human beings, the vast majority
children, adolescents and young adults.
Returning to the recollections of my
visit to Vietnam which prompted these lines, I did
not have the privilege of meeting Ho Chi Minh, the
legendary creator of the Socialist Republic of
Vietnam, the country of the Annamites, the people of
whom our National Hero José Martí talked in such a
praiseworthy fashion in 1889 in his Golden Age
When I visited the country in 1973,
the first day I stayed in the residence of the
former French governor in Indochina, arriving there
September 12, after the agreement between the United
States and Vietnam. Pham Van Dong, then Prime
Minister, put me up there. That hardened combatant,
alone with me in the old mansion built by the French
metropolis, began to weep. Excuse me, he said to me,
but I am thinking of the millions of young people
who have died in this struggle. It was at that very
moment when I perceived in its full dimension how
hard that battle had been. He also complained of the
acts of deception the United States had used against
In a brief synthesis, I shall use
the exact words which I wrote in the abovementioned
Reflection of February 14, 2008, as soon as I had
the possibility of doing so:
"The bridges, without exception,
throughout the journey, visible from the air between
Hanoi and the South, were effectively destroyed;
villages devastated, and every day, splinter bomb
grenades –dropped with that objective – exploded in
the rice fields where children, women and even old
people of advanced age, were working to produce food.
"A large number of craters could be
observed at every one of the entries to the bridges.
At that time, far more precise laser directed bombs
did not exist. I had to insist in order to make that
tour. The Vietnamese feared that I might be the
victim of some yankee adventure if they knew of my
presence in the area. Pham Van Dong accompanied me
the entire time.
"We flew over the province of Nghe-An,
where Ho Chi Minh was born. In that province and
that of Ha Tinh, two million Vietnamese died of
hunger in 1945, the last year of World War II. We
landed in Dong Hoi. One million bombs were dropped
on the province where this destroyed city is located.
We crossed the Nhat Le on a raft. We visited an aid
post for the wounded in Quang Tri. We saw countless
captured M48 tanks. We toured wooden roads of what
had been the National Route, destroyed by bombs. We
met with young Vietnamese soldiers who covered
themselves in glory in the battle of Quang Tri.
Serene, resolute, weather-beaten by the sun and war,
a slight tic was reflected in the battalion
captain’s eyelid. No-one knows how they were able to
resist so many bombs. They were worthy of admiration.
That same afternoon of September 15, returning by a
different route, we picked up three wounded children
two of them seriously so; a girl aged 14 years was
in a state of shock with a metal fragment in her
abdomen. The children were working the land when a
hoe made a chance contact with a grenade. The Cuban
doctors accompanying the delegation gave them direct
attention for hours and saved their lives. I have
witnessed, Mr. McCain, the results of the bombing of
North Vietnam, of which you are so proud.
"In those September days, Allende
had been overthrown; the government Palace was
attacked and many Chileans tortured and murdered.
The coup was promoted and organized from
Lino Luben Pérez, an AIN journalist,
quoted in an article published December 1, 2010, the
words stated on January 2, 1988 at the event for the
seventh anniversary of the Revolution: "We are
prepared to give Vietnam not only our sugar, but our
blood, which is worth far more than sugar!"
In another part of his article, the
AIN journalist wrote, "For years, thousands of young
Vietnamese studied in various specialties in Cuba,
including the Spanish and English languages, while
another considerable number of Cubans learned their
"At the port of Haiphong, in the
north bombarded by the yankees, Cuban ships docked
loaded with sugar, and hundreds of technical
personnel worked during the war in that territory as
"Other compañeros founded
poultry farms for the production of meat and eggs.
"The first merchant ship from this
nation to enter a Cuban port was a tremendously
significant event. Today, state or business
collaboration and the political understanding
between the two [Communist] parties and their
relations of friendship have been maintained and are
I ask you to excuse me for the
modest effort of writing these paragraphs in the
name of our traditional friendship with Vietnam.
This morning, the risk of conflict
breaking out with its disastrous consequences would
seem to have been reduced due to the intelligent
initiative of Russia, which remained firm in the
face of the unheard of pretension on the part of the
United States government, threatening to launch a
devastating attack on the Syrian defenses which
could cost thousands of lives of the people of this
country and unleash a conflict of unforeseeable
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey
Lavrov spoke in the name of the government of this
valiant country and is possibly contributing to
avert, in the immediate future, a world disaster.
For their part, the U.S. people are
strongly opposed to a political adventure which
would affect not only their own country, but all of
Fidel Castro Ruz
September 10, 2013