Cuba’s daily newspaper, Granma, has concluded that even though the war had ended, the US government needs to take responsibility for the tragedy it inflicted on the Vietnamese people and ease the pain of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims.
On August 12 Granma, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of Cuba, ran a front-page article on the 50th anniversary of the AO catastrophe in Vietnam (1961-2011).
The article included a photo of a Vietnamese girl scalded by napalm from a US bomb and emphasised that nearly 5 million Vietnamese were exposed to toxic chemicals used by the US troops during the war in Vietnam.
Between 1961 and 1971, the US army sprayed around 80 million of litres of defoliant containing 61 percent Agent Orange over different parts of Vietnam.
Granma said the consequences of this crime still exist to this day in Vietnam and millions of people and generations of families are suffering the lingering harmful effects of the chemicals.
In addition, nearly 100 members of the Vietnamese Entrepreneurs Association in France (ABVietFrance), along with representatives from other associations in France, gathered at the ABVietFrance headquarters on August 13 to raise funds to support Vietnamese AO/dioxin victims.
The fundraiser was part of the association’s response to the appeal by the Vietnam Association of Victims for Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA) and the “Action for AO/dioxin Victims” campaign launched by the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF), as well as to celebrate the 30th anniversary of ABVietFrance.
Nguyen Quang Van, ABVietFrance General Secretary, and its chairman, Vu Xuan Nhan, highlighted the significance of the fundraiser saying that 2,650 Euros is just a small contribution but shows the sentiments of overseas Vietnamese towards millions of Vietnamese AO/dioxin victims in their home country. He said he hopes the money will help them overcome the difficulties they face in their daily lives.
ABVietFrance collected 7,250 Euros for AO/dioxin victims in 2008 and 2009, and donated 100 wheelchairs worth 5,550 Euros in 2007.
Since 2010, the association has been implementing the initial phase of a project to help AO victims and poor households build houses, classes and hospitals with 300,000 Euros of donated funds.
The project will continue through the end of this year.