Pondering over the April 30 Anniversary

Forty-five (45) years — a period equivalent to two generations – have gone by since the first Vietnamese emigrants risked their lives evading capture by the northern communists with all possible means available; they, nevertheless, always nurture the aspiration that someday they may come back to their homeland, but a homeland with freedom and democracy. A majority of these people have adjusted to their new societies and fared well in their new businesses or achieved a high level of education and succeeded in their new professions. However, except for the second or third generations, they never think they are as totally assimilated as those who were born and have grown up in their milieu. They feel the new environment is only a transitional shelter, even though the society they adopted is a wealthy, civilized, and modern one. The reason for that feeling is rooted in the fact that they were born and had grown up in a place that is blessed with trees, rivers, and mountains — landscapes that are familiar and dear to them — and the underpinning of a culture that includes customs, traditions, mores, literature, and philosophy that have formed and consolidated their particular spiritual and mental identities. Food, shelter, and sex are the basic, essential needs of all animate beings, but the key difference between other creatures and human beings is the mental states. Once the basic needs are satisfied, higher needs have to be met, such as one’s needs to harmoniously immerse in the spirit of the beloved trees, rivers, and mountains; and in unabated common friendship in quest of meanings of life and ideals. And the most appropriate environment for such spiritual life to grow and manifest itself in its best is the homeland, where they were born and had grown up.

Yet this dream of returning to a homeland with freedom and democracy remains farther and farther with time and also with the passing of friends or unacquainted people of the same age. The mental state of exile is torturing the soul of the Vietnamese expatriates of the first generation day in and day out. Thus, they have to say something, do something in the hope of someday they may return to their homeland. And the most obvious scenario would be they have to try to maneuver in such a manner that the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) no longer exists.

From that perspective, we have seen coming on the scene movements that aspired to rely on armed insurgencies to overthrow the communist regime such as the extinct National United Front for the Liberation of Vietnam under the leadership of former Admiral Hoàng Cơ Minh and the Võ Đại Tôn movement, or the single-handed actions by Lý Tống. There currently are also other legality-oriented movements such as the Constitution 2000 movement that focusses on human rights issues and Attorney Lê Trọng Quát’s Republic of Việt Nam Legal Government, which demands the Paris Agreements be re-convened, based on the premise that the parties who signed the document did not carry out the articles thereof appropriately. The latter movements concentrate mainly on mobilizing the countries of the free world in helping to defend their causes.

Furthermore, there are other political organizations and parties in operation for a fairly long time, focussing plenty of their energy on calling for the unification of disparate groups or political sects rather than drawing up a realistic master plan of action.

Additionally, there is a multitude of individuals who separately fight against the communists by publishing on the internet articles condemning Chinese hegemony, accusing the VCP of criminal offenses such as unjust arrests and court sentences, arbitrary confiscation of arable land owned by peasants by way of brutal and cruel oppression.

In case there are differences of opinion among these individuals with regards to their purviews of the political situation inside Vietnam and abroad, especially abroad, and even though they observe and assess the situation with the same purpose of figuring out if it could help to further their struggle for freedom and democracy for Vietnam, they are wasting valuable time criticizing one another and forgetting that the target of their enmity is the VCP. It is highly probable that these differences are being exploited by communist cadres in sleeping cells among the expatriate Vietnamese communities. These secret agents’ goal is to defuse all Vietnamese anti-communist activities overseas and to buttress the power of the VCP at home. The VCP has more than enough money and manpower to carry out this mission.

Granted that there are differences of opinion among these individuals or political organizations, but as long as the target of our fight is the Communist Party in Vietnam, the anti-communist patriots overseas probably need not waste time attacking one another because a particular plan of action may not necessarily work better than another. We need to learn from one another, instead. Not only does respect for others give rise to unity without the need to call for unification, but it also creates such overwhelming synergy that can assist in overthrowing the Communist Party.

The dictatorial, totalitarian VCP is the target for elimination, not the people of Vietnam. The people of Vietnam and the Vietnamese expatriates are unified in their embrace of brotherly love and freedom and democracy. Should Vietnamese expatriates hate everything that is Vietnamese, then our fight would carry no significance. It wouldn’t be enough even if the three million Vietnamese overseas were unified in their fight for the opportunity to return to a free and democratic Vietnam. It is indeed essential that all the 98 million citizens of Vietnam stand together and decide to eliminate the VCP because it has been factually and cruelly exploiting and oppressing the great majority of the Vietnamese people. If this occurs, then the dream of returning to a free and democratic Vietnam is feasible.

However, how can we rest assured that the majority of the Vietnamese people stand alongside the Vietnamese freedom fighters overseas with the intent to eliminate the VCP?

Based on the most updated data1, as of July 2020, the population of Vietnam is 98.7 million people, of whom approximately 84% are under the age of 54. This means that when South Vietnam was invaded by the northern communists on April 30, 1975, the oldest persons of this subgroup were only 9 years old. In other words, 84% of the current population did not know much about the 20-year war between the North and the South. To them, the nationalist-communist conflict is something that belongs to history, should there remain any interest in history amid the young generation. The population of people 60 years old and above would probably not be able to assimilate to the new generation’s culture and ways of life. Perhaps they are feeling forsaken, bereft of their “golden glory” of the past; and they are trying retelling their mythical heroic stories, to which the young generation doesn’t bother to listen. The VCP has been forcing the Marxist theory into the curriculum of all levels of education including college, but students hate the subject matter. The theory has changed enormously. Only its appearance bears the mark of communism, but its content is nothing but a form of savage capitalism, with a very small minority of plutocrats ruling the country, always ready to commit themselves to all kinds of cruel acts with intent to solidify their power and protect their interests. They exhibit the statue of Hồ Chí Minh with idolatry everywhere including pagodas and glorify the communist theory only as pretexts. As a matter of fact, except for a small number of specialists in Marxist theory in the political training committee, who obey the politburo with servitude, probably no one left in the ruling class still knows what Marxism truly is all about.

In all kinds of capitalistic systems, the plutocracy always exploits and extorts the workers. But through an evolution of choice, the capitalistic systems of free and democratic countries are legitimate, that is worker exploitations are largely mitigated and counterpoised by a legalistic system of checks and balances and by religion. The politico-economic system being implemented by the VCP is but savage capitalism because the law is totally in the hands of the Party. In other words, there is no law. And therefore, the ruling plutocracy can and does oppress and exploit the workers and citizens no end in the cruelest manner possible. Having no voice in the matter, the poor people grieve to no avail.

But how is it possible that the ruling class, who exploits the people so harshly, can still hold on to their power for so long?

The answer is four-fold:

  1. The VCP is being shored up by communist China by way of having South China Intelligence agents station among the Vietnamese people, infiltrate all levels of administration, the military, and security to nip in the bud all attempts to eliminate the VCP;
  2. The VCP bolsters its security force of approximately 3 million secret agents and policemen by assigning some 600 generals (according to Bùi Tín, there used to be 1 or 2 previously) to be in charge of controlling and oppressing the people and by granting all these cadres special power and privileges.
  3. The VCP allows people in metropolitan areas to enjoy adequate freedom of speech and to conduct enterprise businesses, except negative criticism of the government and activities perceived as harmful to the survival of the government.
  4. According to free-market principles, the plutocrats (in Vietnam would be high ranking party members, their relatives, and subalterns) monopolize all opportunities to amass wealth while allowing less opulent opportunities for the rest of the city population to make money, a situation that is usually called “trickle-down economy”.

The majority of those metropolitan residents, who are enjoying granted financial benefits mainly, are generally middle-class people with at least some education and knowledge, who can bring about social change. However; because, firstly, of the privileges they are enjoying and, secondly, imminent harsh oppression, including long-term incarceration and even assassination, will come to them, should they get involved in any doubtful political activity (not necessarily overthrowing the VCP) perceived as harmful to the government. Therefore, even though they see injustices, their self-preservation instinct and the need to protect their livelihood require that they look the other way.

However, not everyone looks the other way. The history of revolutions in the world always bears witness to a few heroes with genuine concern for the public good – from the intelligentsia – who rose and lighted the torch to fire up the conscience of the people. Usually, when facing oppression, common people would feel helpless and impotent. But once they are awakened and see their rightful rights and privileges, they then will act and become an invincible force, under the leadership of the select intelligentsia, like a tsunami surging all over places, that the VCP no longer can break up.

So, in the current situation of Vietnam, who are the victims of oppression and other injustices?

They are the people who are cleaning the streets, the restaurants, and the big buildings; the workers in machine shops, in manufacturing companies, in factories. Their minimal salary is not enough to feed themselves, let alone provide for their families back in the countryside. They have to work overtime without extra remuneration, without workman compensation for accidents that occur at the workplace, without health insurance, without independent labor unions to negotiate for their rights and privileges. Furthermore, they have to, in many instances, undergo arbitrary maltreatments by their workplace owners.

They are the educated people who have graduated from college, but cannot find employment because of cronyism: all the jobs available are reserved for party members and their relatives, and friends regardless of qualifications. As a consequence, they have to work as “motorbike taxis” drivers, sell lottery tickets or taffy along the streets and in impoverished city quarters.

They are the peasants exploited, whose land is purchased with dirt-cheap prices, just to be resold to foreigners, with prices thousand times higher, to use for building factories or for investments in other lucrative enterprises. The peasants share a percentage of approximately 80% of the total population. Their livelihood depends on the crops grown on the land that they own. But they are gradually and methodically robbed of their property. The little compensation they receive doesn’t last long on them. They spend it all in a short time and their family ends up having no means for survival. Men have to move to the cities to do menial work or work in manufacturing companies, factories with exploitative salaries inadequate for supporting their families. Or they have to emigrate to neighboring countries such as Kampuchea, Laos, or Thailand to look for employment. Women usually lend themselves to household chores in wealthy families. But young girls and children in the countryside, having no work, are good targets for human trafficking and end up serving, mostly in foreign countries, as sex slaves.

Those aforementioned human beings are the victims of the dictatorial and totalitarian regime of the VCP. Fortunately, there are members of the intelligentsia who don’t look the other way. They are the vanguard for social change. We can enumerate names from a representative list of activists as follows: Nguyễn Văn Hoá, Anh Ba Sàm, Phan Kim Khánh, Trần Thị Nga, Cấn Thị Thêu, Đặng Xương Hùng, LS Lê thị Công Nhân, LS Lê Công Định, Linh Mục Đặng Hữu Nam, LM Nguyễn Duy Tân, LM Peter Bùi Phong, LM Phan Văn Lợi, BS Nguyễn Đình Thành, TS Nguyễn Mạnh Tường, Nguyễn Viết Dũng, TS Nguyễn Xuân Diện, TS Phạm Chí Dũng, Phạm thị Đoan Trang, Trần Thị Xuân, Vũ Văn Hùng, Huỳnh Tấn Mẫm, Lê Công Giàu, Huỳnh Kim Báu, Võ Văn Thôn, Nguyễn Văn Ly (Tư Kết), Bùi Tiến An, Bùi Công Tiến, Tống Văn Công, Kha Lương Khải, Tương Lai, Hoàng Đức Bình, Nguyễn Bắc Truyền, Đặng Ngọc Tân, Phạm Thanh, Lưu Văn Vĩnh, Lê Thị Tháp, Từ công Nghĩa, Hà Văn Nam, Đào Quang Thục, Nguyễn Văn Túc, Trương Minh Đức, Trần Phi Dũng, Trần Long Phi (20 years old, 8 years of incarceration, 3 years under house arrest). Also included hereinafter is a list of prisoners of conscience:

Order #

Last and First Names

Born in

Arrested on

Years in

Prison

Law #

1.

BÙI THỊ MINH HẰNG

1964

11/2/2014

3

245

2.

BÙI VĂN TRUNG

1964

30/10/2012

4

257

3.

DƯƠNG VĂN PHƯỚC

1962

20/3/2014

22 mm

257

4.

DƯƠNG VĂN THÀNH

1982

2/2014

2

258

5.

ĐẶNG THỊ MÌ

1955

4/9/2014

26 mm

245

6.

ĐẶNG XUÂN DIỆU

1978

27/8/2011

13

79

7.

ĐINH NGUYÊN KHA

1988

11/10/2012

4

88

8.

ĐỖ ĐÌNH DŨ

1959

25/6/2014

3

258

9.

ĐỖ THỊ HỒNG

1957

10/2/2012

13

79

10.

ĐỖ THỊ NHƯ

1950

4/9/2014

26 mm

245

11.

ĐỖ THỊ THIÊM

1959

4/9/2014

28 mm

245

12.

ĐỖ VĂN HÀO

1961

4/9/2014

28 mm

245

13.

ĐỖ VĂN QUÝ

1965

4/9/2014

28 mm

245

14.

ĐOÀN ĐÌNH NAM

1951

6/2/2012

16

79

15.

ĐOÀN HUY CHƯƠNG

1985

12/2/2010

7

88

16.

ĐOÀN VĂN CƯ

1962

10/2/2012

14

79

17.

HỒ ĐỨC HÒA

1974

30/7/2012

13

79

18.

HUỲNH ĐỨC MINH

1958

17/7/2014

3

230

19.

LÊ DUY LỘC

1956

5/2/2012

17

79

20.

LÊ ĐỨC ĐỘNG

1983

5/2/2012

12

79

21.

LÊ THANH TÙNG

1961

14/12/2015

79

22.

LÊ PHÚC

1951

5/2/2012

15

79

23.

LÊ THU HÀ

1982

16/12/2015

88

24.

LÊ TRỌNG CƯ

1966

5/2/2012

12

79

25.

LƯƠNG NHẬT QUANG

1987

23/11/2012

12

79

26.

NGÔ HÀO

1948

8/2/2013

11

79

27.

NGÔ THỊ MINH ƯỚC

1957

8/7/2014

16

88

28.

NGÔ THỊ TOAN

1965

4/9/2014

26 mm

245

29.

NGUYỄN CÔNG CHÍNH

1964

28/4/2011

11

87

30.

NGUYỄN DINH

1968

23/11/2012

14

79

31.

NGUYỄN ĐẶNG MINH MẪN

1985

2/8/2011

8

79

32.

NGUYỄN ĐÌNH NGỌC (NGUYỄN NGỌC GIÀ)

1966

27/12/2014

258

33.

NGUYỄN HOÀNG QUỐC HÙNG

1981

23/2/2010

9

88

34.

NGUYỄN HỮU CẢNH

1950

9/2005

13

91

35.

NGUYỄN KIM NHÀN

1949

7/6/2011

5,5

88

36.

NGUYỄN KỲ LẠC

1951

6/2/2012

16

79

37.

NGUYỄN HỮU QUỐC DUY

1985

27/11/2015

88

38.

NGUYỄN HỮU THIÊN AN

8/2015

258

39.

NGUYỄN NGỌC CƯỜNG

1956

2/4/2011

7

88

40.

NGUYỄN THÁI BÌNH

1986

23/11/2012

12

79

41.

NGUYỄN THỊ ÁNH NGUYỆT

1973

10/9/2013

3

245

42.

NGUYỄN T BÉ HAI

1952

8/7/2014

88

43.

NGUYỄN THỊ THÚY QUỲNH

1986

2/2014

2,5

245

44.

NGUYỄN THỊ TRÍ

1958

8/7/2014

88

45.

NGUYỄN VĂN ĐÀI

1969

16/12/2015

88

46.

NGUYỄN VĂN HỮU

1957

17/7/2014

4

230

47.

NGUYỄN VĂN LÝ

1946

18/2/2007

8

88

48.

NGUYỄN VĂN MINH

1980

2/2014

2

245

49.

NGUYỄN VIẾT DŨNG

1986

12/4/2015

15 mm

245

50.

PHẠM THỊ PHƯỢNG

1945

15/4/2010

11

79

51.

PHẠM VĂN THÔNG

1962

19/7/2010

7

79

52.

PHAN NGỌC TUẤN

1953

10/8/2011

5

88

53.

PHAN THANH TƯỜNG

1987

28/2/2012

10

79

54.

PHAN THANH Ý

1948

23/11/2012

14

79

55.

PHAN VĂN THU (TRẦN CÔNG)

1948

5/2/2012

Life

79

56.

PHÙNG LÂM

1966

21/6/2010

7

88

57.

PHÙNG THỊ LY

1963

14/4/2015

3

245

58.

TẠ KHU

1947

6/2/2012

16

79

59.

TRẦN ANH KIM

1953

21/9/2015

79

60.

TRẦN HUỲNH DUY THỨC

1966

24/5/2009

16

79

61.

TRẦN PHI DŨNG

1966

10/2/2012

13

79

62.

TRẦN QUÂN

1984

10/2/2012

12

79

63.

TRẦN THỊ THÚY

1971

10/8/2010

8

79

64.

TRẦN VŨ ANH BÌNH

1975

19/9/2011

6

88

65.

TỪ THIỆN LƯƠNG

1950

23/11/2012

16

79

66.

VÕ NGỌC CƯ

1951

6/2/2012

16

79

67.

VÕ THÀNH LÊ

1955

5/2/2012

16

79

68.

VÕ TIẾT

1952

23/11/2012

16

79

69.

VÕ VĂN PHỤNG

1950

17/7/2014

3

230

70.

VƯƠNG TẤN SƠN

1953

10/2/2012

17

258

Additionally, another 127 intellects and public figures who used to be high ranking officials of the VCP had collectively signed a letter addressed to the Politburo; the Central Executive Committee, session XI; the Representatives to the 12th National Convention, and all party members of The Communist Party2, demanding the National Convention to abolish the dictatorial communist regime and replace it, in its stead, with a democratic system.

There do exist other human rights and democracy activists in Vietnam and elsewhere, but the author of this article might have somehow forgotten them or has not the means to research and identify them as yet.

A majority of the people listed above had sacrificed a generous portion of their lives in the cruel prisons of the VCP to fight for the people’s right to life, and the freedom and democracy of their native country. They are witnesses to the savage exploitation and oppression by the VCP. They are the torches that lighten up the people’s conscience so they can stand up for their sacred right to life. These are non-violent fighters. But they have not succeeded as yet. Not succeeded yet because

  1. They are fighting single-handedly and separately;
  2. The harsh and savage oppression by the 3 million secret agents and policemen is relentless. This security force is extremely loyal to the VCP because of the power and special privileges they receive from the ruling plutocrats;
  3. There is a lack of coordinated contemporary and unified actions among freedom fighters inside the country and political organizations and individuals overseas;
  4. The activists only raise a voice of protest but have no design for a realistic master plan of action with effective strategies and tactics to eliminate the VCP.

The master plan of action must necessarily start with an in-depth study of the pillars that support the survival of the dictatorial and totalitarian VCP and an organization including fighters inside the country and those overseas who have the knowledge and skills to set forth procedures to break down those pillars. Some of these pillars are made of materials with their roots in monetary assets and manpower in the current economic system; other pillars, by the structures of different branches of organizations like the military, security forces, and administrative bodies staffed with people with different opinions, ways of life, religious affiliations, and sentiments towards their families, friends, and acquaintances; still others, by psychological factors such as loyalty as well discontentment caused by differentiated privileges, greed for money, power, and sex. The implementation of the action plan should start with attacks — based on a thorough analysis of the fabric of those pillars — on the identified weaknesses of the enemy’s economic system, various organizational structures, and psychology following the specifically designed strategies and tactics in an atmosphere of popular unity with the intent to eliminate The VCP and bring about a Vietnam with freedom, democracy, and equity for all Vietnamese.

Tiểu Thạch Nguyễn Văn Thái, Ph.D

Pennsylvania, April 30, 2020

___________________________________

REFERENCES

1 Vietnam – 2020

SOURCE: 2020 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES

https://theodora.com/wfbcurrent/vietnam/index.html

Page last updated on January 27, 2020

Population:
98,721,275 (July 2020 est.)
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 16 
[see also: Population country ranks ] 
[see also: Population country ranks 

Nationality:
noun: Vietnamese (singular and plural) 
adjective: Vietnamese

Ethnic groups:
Kinh (Viet) 85.7%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.8%, Muong 1.5%, Khmer 1.5%, Mong 1.2%, Nung 1.1%, Hoa 1%, other 4.3% (2009 est.) 
note: 54 ethnic groups are recognized by the Vietnamese Government

Languages:
Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer, mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)

Religions:
Buddhist 7.9%, Catholic 6.6%, Hoa Hao 1.7%, Cao Dai 0.9%, Protestant 0.9%, Muslim 0.1%, none 81.8% (2009 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 22.61% (male 11,733,704/female 10,590,078) 
[see also: 
Age structure – 0-14 years country ranks ] 
15-24 years: 15.22% (male 7,825,859/female 7,202,716) 
[see also: 
Age structure – 15-24 years country ranks ] 
25-54 years: 45.7% (male 22,852,429/female 22,262,566) 
[see also: 
Age structure – 25-54 years country ranks ] 
55-64 years: 9.55% (male 4,412,111/female 5,016,880) 
[see also: 
Age structure – 55

2 Thư gửi Bộ Chính trị, Ban Chấp hành Trung ương khóa XI, các đại biểu dự Đại hội lần thứ XII và toàn thể đảng viên Đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam

https://boxitvn.blogspot.com/2015/12/thu-gui-bo-chinh-tri-ban-chap-hanh.html

 

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