Granma International
December 5, 2001

Viet Nam to provide 250,000 tons of rice

                   • The sales contract, with terms favorable to Cuba, is signed in the
                   presence of President Fidel Castro and Vietnamese Deputy Prime
                   Minister Nguyen Tan Dung • Other agreements include the donation of
                   a television set assembly line, development of digital television, and
                   the family-based production of rice

                   THE Socialist Republic of Viet Nam will provide the island with
                   250,000 tons of rice, which will guarantee that 55% of
                   national rice consumption in 2002, according to a contract
                   offering Cuba satisfactory prices and convenient payment

                   President Fidel Castro and Vietnamese Deputy Executive
                   Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung – on an official visit to the
                   island – attended the signing ceremony for this and two other
                   important accords.

                   The directors of the Cuban company Alimport and the
                   Vietnamese company Vinafood 1 signed the contract.

                   In addition, the directors of the Vietnamese electronics
                   company Hanel, Trinh Minh Chau, and José Enriquez Forcadas
                   from the Electronics Group in Cuba signed a cooperation
                   agreement that includes the donation of a television set
                   assembly line. The agreement also calls for joint development
                   for the introduction of digital television on the island and the
                   production of television sets to export to the Caribbean and
                   Latin America.

                   Likewise, both countries’ ministers of agriculture signed an
                   accord on a cooperative project for the development of
                   family-based rice production in Cuba.

                   Nguyen Tan Dung made a five-day official visit to the
                   Caribbean nation, in response to an invitation from Vice
                   President Carlos Lage, during which he spoke with leaders of
                   Cuba’s Communist Party and state authorities, among them
                   Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque.

                   The deputy executive prime minister of Viet Nam expressed
                   his solidarity for the human and material losses caused by
                   Hurricane Michelle.

                   After his arrival in Havana on November 30, Tan Dung
                   declared that the objective of his visit was to increase the
                   ties of friendship and cooperation, mainly in the spheres of
                   economy and commerce, as well as to study the Cuban
                   experience of building socialism.

                   "The profound relationship that unites both nations is at such
                   a high level, it will be difficult to surpass," said Carlos Lage in
                   conversations with the guest. "Our peoples have endured the
                   test of time," added the Cuban vice president, who noted that
                   in the difficult years of the Revolution, Cubans were grateful
                   for Vietnamese solidarity.

                   Accompanied by Víctor Gaute and Nilo Díaz, Party secretary
                   and president of People’s Power in Matanzas province,
                   respectively, Tan Dung visited two communities in Ciénaga de
                   Zapata – the area hit the hardest by the hurricane – and
                   spoke with residents building new housing.

                   He likewise visited Varadero, where he learned the details of
                   tourism development in the country, and particularly in this
                   famed beach resort.

                   The member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of
                   Viet Nam toured the Museum of the Revolutionary Armed
                   Forces Command Center at the Australia sugar mill. He
                   listened to explanations of the actions Fidel headed from
                   there and made it possible to bring about the first defeat of
                   U.S. imperialism, in only 72 hours.

                   Furthermore, he viewed the destruction caused by Michelle at
                   the sugar mill and the progress of the recovery work, in order
                   to be ready for the start of the sugar harvest on January 25.