Vietnam announces a day of mourning for Fidel Castro

By VnExpress   November 28, 2016 | 06:33 am PT
Vietnam announces a day of mourning for Fidel Castro
President Fidel Castro shook hands with every single Quang Tri soldier during his Vietnam visit in 1973. File photo
Flags will be flown at half-mast at all government agencies while entertainment activities will be suspended.

Vietnam has declared December 4 a national day of mourning for Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary who passed away last week in Havana, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday.

Vietnam made the decision to express condolences and gratitude to the revolutionary leader of Cuba and to honor the special relationship between the two countries, the ministry said.

Half-mast flags will be flying at all government agencies nationwide and Vietnam’s representative offices abroad. During the national mourning day, all entertainment activities will also be suspended.

Castro was a great friend of Vietnam, the statement said. He will be interred at a cemetery in the Cuban city of Santiago on December 4.

Four decades ago, at the height of the Vietnam War, he visited the famous battlefield of Quang Tri in central Vietnam.

During the visit, he promised to give Vietnam a hand in constructing a range of facilities including Victory Hotel in Hanoi, the Vietnam-Cuba Hospital in Quang Binh Province, Moc Chau cattle ranch in Son La and the Vietnam-Cuba Highway. Cuba also provided Vietnam with $6 million worth of equipment and technology and was the biggest supporter of Vietnam in the negotiation to join the United Nations.

Castro, who built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States and for five decades defied U.S. efforts to topple him, died on November 25, state-run Cuban Television said. He was 90.

He had been in poor health since an intestinal ailment nearly killed him in 2006. He formally ceded power to his younger brother two years later.

Castro's remains will be cremated, according to his wishes. The bearded leader took power in a 1959 revolution and ruled Cuba for 49 years.

Related news:

> Fidel Castro: 43 years ago on Vietnam's fiercest battlefield

> Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro dies aged 90

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