Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Arrival at Airport

Hanoi VNA in English to VNA Havana 1050 GMT 12 Sep 73 B--FOR OFFICIAL USE

[Text] Hanoi VNA September 12--As Premier Fidel Castro, dressed in his
legendary olive uniform, emerged from the plane door, hurrahs and shouts of
"Viva Fidel, Viva Cuba" swept Gia Lam airport. Fidel alighted from the
plane, waving cheerfully to his Vietnamese friends.

The plane carrying the delegation of the Communist Party and Revolutionary
Government of the Republic of Cuba arrived here at 1200 hours sharp. That
was the longawaited moment of the hundreds of thousands of Hanoians as well
as the millions of Vietnamese across the country. From early this morning,
Hanoi already had lived in a festive atmosphere. In the bedecked streets,
large banderols and streamers were strung with inscriptions in both
languages hailing the visit of Fidel Castro and his delegation and the
indestructible militant friendship between the Vietnamese and Cuban

At Gia Lam airport, the flags of the two countries fluttered majestically
in a light autumnal breeze. (?Spanning) across the air terminal building
was a big slogan in golden letters written in Vietnamese and Spanish
reading: "Warm welcome to the delegation of the Communist Party and
Revolutionary Government of Cuba led by Comrade Fidel Castro on a
friendship visit to Vietnam"....

As the plane taxied to a halt, Le Duan, first secretary of the Vietnam
Workers Party Central Committee, Truong Chihh, Political Bureau member of
the party CC and chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee, Pham
Van Dong, Political Bureau member of the party CC and premier of the
government, and other Vietnamese leaders went to the ramp to give Fidel and
his entourage the tightest hugs. Together with the Vietnamese leaders,
Premier Fidel stood to attention as the national anthems of Cuba and
Vietnam struck up, and a 21-gun salute boomed across the airport. After
reviewing a guard of honour of the Vietnam People's Army, Premier Fidel
went to greet the representatives of the Vietnamese National Assembly,
government, political parties and mass organizations and the diplomatic

As he came to the welcoming crowds gathered at the airport holding small
Vietnamese and Cuban flags, he was greeted by tumultuous shouts in Spanish
"Viva Cuba! Via Fidel!" Some of the welcomers broke ranks and ran up to
shake hands with the Cuban leader and hero, the most concentrated symbol of
the staunch spirit of struggle of the people of Cuba, the small island with
a great determination. Cheers went up even more stirringly when Fidel came
to the Young Pioneers who beat drums and presented him the special salute
of their organization.

Again and again Fidel had to hand over to his aide the multitude of
bouquets offered to him. Then he climbed into an open limousine and rode to
the government guest-house in downtown Hanoi with Le Duan, Truong Chinh and
Pham Van Dong by his side. The tens of thousands of welcomers lining along
the road waved flowers and small flags and cheered enthusiastically as the
motorcade proceeded slowly to the heart of the capital city.

Also present at the welcome ceremony were General Vo Nguyen Giap, Political
Bureau member of the party Central Committee, vice-premier and minister of
national defense; Nguyen Duy Trinh, Political Bureau member of the party
CC, vice-premier and minister of foreign affairs; Le Thanh Nghi, Political
Bureau member of the party CC and vice- premier; To Huu and Nguyen Van
Tran, secretaries of the party CC; Hoang Anh and Do Muoi, vice-premiers;
Hoang Quoc Viet, member of the Presidium of the Vietnam Fatherland Front
Central Committee and president of the Vietnam Federation of Trade Unions;
Lieutenant- General Song Hao, head of the Political Department of the
Vietnam People's Army and vice-minister of national defense; Mme Nguyen Thi
Thap and Mme Ha Que, members of the party CC and respectively president and
vice-president of the Vietnam Women's Union; Hoang Tung, alternate member
of the party CC and president of the Vietnam-Cuba Friendship Association;
Tran Chi Hien, deputy-head of the Foreign Relations Board of the party CC;
vice-ministers for foreign affiars Hoang Van Loi, Nguyen Co Thach and Hoang
Van Tien; many members of the party Central Committee, many ministers and
vice-ministers and large numbers of representatives of political parties
and mass organizations at the central level and in Hanoi.

Nguyen Van Tien, head of the Special Representation of the Republic of
South Vietnam in the DRV, was also on hand.

At the government guest-house, Premier Fidel Castro and his delegation were
warmly welcomed by President Ton Duc Thang. Present at the reception were
Le Duan, Truong Chinh, Pham Van Dong and other leaders.

President Ton Duc Thang extended his heartfelt thanks to Premier Fidel
Castro, the Communist Party, the Revolutionary Government and the people of
Cuba for their whole- hearted support and assistance to the Vietnamese
people's anti-U.S. resistance, for national salvation.

In his reply, Premier Fidel Castro expressed his great emotion at the big
and hearty welcome accorded to him and his delegation by the people of
Hanoi and the entire Vietnamese people. He warmly welcomed the great
victory of the Vietnamese people and proposed a toast to the victory of the
Vietnamese and Cuban revolutions and to the ever lasting friendship between
the two peoples.