Cuba and Vietnam share important similarities.
From a shattered society burdened by poverty and food shortages, to a middle-income country and World Trade Organization (WTO) member, Vietnam’s authoritarian socialist regime has overseen huge change since Saigon fell to communist troops four decades ago.
Both countries formed socialist regimes rooted in a struggle for independence from imperialist powers. Their fights enjoyed wide supported because of their nationalistic stances, not necessarily because of Marxist ideas. Both are developing countries, but could accomplish socialist revolutions against orthodox Marxist theory – which claims that socialist and communist revolutions come after a country reaches a highly developed capitalist stage. Both countries faced U.S. intervention and suffered or suffers U.S. economic embargo (in case of Vietnam until 1995, and Cuba until 2015.)
John Kerry, a Vietnam veteran, sums up what worked to alter Vietnam’s path to a market economy:
So that’s an example. Cuba – example. I mean, we’ve opened up Cuba. One of the components of our diplomacy in opening up Cuba was to get and increase access for the Cuban people to the net. And that’s happening. Not as fast as we’d like, but it’s happening. You go to a place like Vietnam – I mean, I fought in the war in Vietnam and we were supposedly there to prevent the place from being communist and we spent 58,000-plus lives in an effort to do that in 10 years, then the longest war in American history, to try to do it. And guess what? The way we did it is by opening up and normalizing our relationship, which John McCain and I led together, lifting the embargo to include business and now there’s no remnant of “communism,” which is a economic theory and plan – John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State