The Vietnam War, which originated in 1955 and culminated in 1975, left an estimated balance of more than two million Vietnamese dead and three million wounded while North American losses reached 57.685 dead and 153.303 wounded. There were plenty of reasons why a mutual feeling of antipathy between the two countries was maintained over time. However, forgiveness and forgetting have allowed the wounds of the past to definitively heal in the hearts of both peoples.
After twenty years of cooling off, on February 3, 1994, President Clinton lifted the embargo on Vietnam and announced the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the United States of America and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. A few months later, on August 6, 1995, the US embassies were opened in Ho Chi Minh City and from Vietnam in Washington DC
From then on, important milestones in the history of mutual relations took place: On December 10, 2001, the bilateral Free Trade Agreement was signed; On January 1, 2007, Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization and, now, as a partner of the Trans-Pacific Economic Cooperation Agreement, a bright future for the Asian country is in sight.
Today, on the website of the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the United States of America, there are three paragraphs that no one could have imagined reading during the last three decades of the last century:
Relations with the United States are of strategic importance to Vietnam, especially our economic and trade cooperation. Vietnam welcomes investment and trade from the United States, especially in high-tech areas. Vietnamese products, especially from small and medium-sized businesses, are also reaching American consumers in greater numbers.
Economic cooperation in the framework of the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Economic Cooperation Agreement, as well as other aspects of trade and investment, will also be one of the fundamental elements for the advancement of our relations at a higher level, towards the strategic association.
As a nation characterized by a rich history and ancient culture; diversified natural resources; young, dynamic and qualified workforce; and political and social stability, Vietnam will continue to be a market full of possibilities and an ideal destination for international investors and companies, especially from the United States.
The US and Vietnam today enjoy a healthy relationship in which the governments of both countries admit the ideological differences of their political models but accept with a pragmatic sense that business and cultural relations will always lead to meeting spaces for consensus and mutual benefit.
And, out of curiosity, visiting friend, when reading this article, has the case of Cuba not crossed your mind?