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Ho Chi Minh - Symbol of peace: the undeniable fact!

(PTOJ) - This article clarifies the conspiracies, methods and tricks of the hostile forces in denying and distorting the great contributions of president Ho Chi Minh to the peace of Vietnam as well as the world, and at the same time analyze the theoretical and practical grounds to refute the above-mentioned false claims.

Ho Chi Minh - Symbol of peace - Photo: VNA

Ho Chi Minh - the Vietnamese Hero of National Liberation, the great man of culture, who not only devoted his life to the cause of national liberation of Vietnam but also made a great contribution to the struggle for the liberation of many other nations, building peace and friendship among the peoples of the world. However, hostile forces have deliberately misrepresented and denied President Ho Chi Minh’s great contributions to the peace of Vietnam and the world.

Nguyen Thi Co May and Lam Van Be wrote the article “the Truth about Ho Chi Minh in Paris and Vienna. And in Ottawa?” asking a very childish question: “Why do we have to make a revolution to seize power so that the blood of innocent Vietnamese people begins to spill, which the country mourns to this day?”.

Some critics slander Ho Chi Minh as “warlike”, claiming he built and maintained a dictatorial and corrupt communist regime (New Horizons Media page). The critics also cut together pictures and events to “prove” Ho Chi Minh was “bloodthirsty” (facebook Do Nga) or blatantly “denounce” the “brutality” of President Ho Chi Minh (People make newspaper page, facebook Vu Dong Ha...).

They also blatantly claim that Ho Chi Minh’s choice of the path of violent revolution has pushed the Vietnamese people into a useless war of bloodshed; distorting the famous call “there is nothing more precious than the independence and freedom” by Ho Chi Minh as an expression of “inhumanity”, “adding fuel to the fire” in order to incite the belligerence of the Vietnamese people.

Even one of the contributions of President Ho Chi Minh, which was honored by UNESCO, is “contributing to the common struggle of all nations for peace, national independence, democracy and social progress”, was also denied by these forces in a very irrational way by claiming that “there is no resolution to honor President Ho Chi Minh” (The truth about Ho Chi Minh in Paris and Vienna. What about in Ottawa?).

Supporting those malicious speculations, these subjects provided information about President Ho Chi Minh’s private life with false or edited images, mutilated in order to focus deeply on issues of President Ho Chi Minh’s status, career and contributions to peace.

The conspiracy of the subjects when releasing these allegations was to first of all deliberately “take down the idol” Ho Chi Minh, claiming that Ho Chi Minh was not a great man, who sacrificed his personal life to devote himself to the struggle for the universal values that humanity is still aiming for today such as justice and peace, but rather a belligerent and violent person. Going further, the subjects want to misrepresent, the revolutionary path chosen by Ho Chi Minh as the path of bloodshed that pushed the Vietnamese people into mourning, therefore, the “national independence which is associated with socialism” must be abandoned.

More maliciously, the subjects aim to change the sentiments of the Vietnamese nation towards the leader Ho Chi Minh, causing confusion, oscillation, and reducing the confidence of cadres, party members and the people in the revolutionary goal and path chosen by President Ho Chi Minh; creating skepticism and a lack of trust in Marxism - Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s thought.

In terms of theory, as well as practical activities, we all see that President Ho Chi Minh’s great contributions to the cause of peace for the Vietnamese people and other peoples in the world is undeniable.

On his journey of revolutionary activities, Ho Chi Minh traveled to nearly all continents, to developed capitalist countries, and witnessed directly the barbaric actions of capitalist and imperialist countries everywhere. Although he was very aware of the brutal nature of the colonialists and imperialists, throughout his life of revolutionary activities, he always prioritized the path of peaceful struggle, arousing and promoting the best values hidden deep in each person, making efforts to bring the nations closer together, enhancing exchanges to understand and trust each other in solving common problems, especially the resolution of conflicts.

Ho Chi Minh opened his career of political struggle with  peaceful activity, that is, on behalf of the patriotic Vietnamese people in France, sent to the Paris Peace Conference of the Peace negotiations at Versailles to build the Declaration of Claim of the people of Annam (in 1919). And he also closed his life of revolutionary activities with “the last wish” that was: “Our entire Party and people unite to strive to build a peaceful, unified, independent, democratic and strong Vietnam, and make a worthy contribution to the world revolutionary cause”(1).

In the legacy of President Ho Chi Minh, we see him embodying his belief in peace in many articles, speeches, interviews, statements... In which, there are more than 1,000 times when he mentioned the phrase “peace”. The outstanding points can Ho Chi Minh can be highlighted as: Peace must be associated with independence, freedom and the happiness of the people; peace for his people and other peoples; The struggle for national independence cannot be separated from the struggle for world peace...

These propositions the he repeated many times, such as: “Protecting peace is against war”, “true peace cannot be separated from true independence”, “we want peace, we must compromise”... Along with that, there are Ho Chi Minh’s timeless progressive ideas on building a peaceful world, such as: “Countries with different social regimes can live together peacefully”(2), “World peace can be realized if the countries of the world, especially the big ones, are willing to resolve the frictions between countries by negotiating and if the people of the world refuse to be deceived by the war-makers, but assume the responsibility of protecting world peace”(3)...

We will see more clearly the absurdity of the argument that Ho Chi Minh is “warlike” and “violent”. Immediately after the success of the August Revolution in 1945, as the head of the Party and State of Vietnam, he pursued peaceful diplomacy with the statement that Vietnam is ready to be friends with all countries, wishing and willing to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation on the basis of respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, equality and mutual benefit.

The first official diplomatic document signed by Ho Chi Minh as head of state was the Communiqué on “Foreign Policy of the Provisional Government” (October 3, 1945). The communiqué stated: “Bringing the country to complete and permanent independence, and contributing to the fight with the Allies against fascism, on the basis of democratic principles recognized by the fallen nations, to rebuild world peace”(4).

This document affirms Vietnam’s democratic, progressive, humanitarian, and its peaceful values in its foreign policy, completely in line with the development trend of international relations after the war.

Ho Chi Minh affirmed that Vietnam is a “part of the world’s peace and democracy faction” and defined Vietnam’s foreign policy as: “Make friends with all democracies and hold no enmity towards anyone”(5). He believed in building genuine peace in the world, a new world order must be based on the principle of respecting the fundamental rights of all peoples, “justice and democratic ideals must replace war” in international relations. Each nation decides its own destiny based on national, cultural values and respects each country’s choice of developmental path. States must be equally involved in solving international problems, and world peace must be decided by all peoples, independent of a ruling group of a small number of major powers.

As a supporter of the principles of peaceful coexistence between countries with different political regimes, President Ho Chi Minh respects the settlement of conflicts between countries through peaceful negotiations, without interfering in each other’s internal affairs.

Peace in Ho Chi Minh’s opinion is for genuine peace, not a fake peace, which means that it must be associated with independence, freedom and happiness for the people. In order to have that genuine peace in the context of colonial and imperialist invasions and oppression of colonial peoples, the colonial countries had to go through a revolutionary struggle to gain national independence.

The resistance war against the French colonialists and the American imperialists in Vietnam led by President Ho Chi Minh and our Party are two typical struggles for peace and examples of victory for true peace. On the other hand, thanks to the combination of military struggle with diplomatic negotiations, the Vietnamese people attained victory in those two huge resistance wars, despite appearing to be the weaker force.

Even when forced to choose the path of revolutionary struggle to win peace, history also shows that negotiation and dialogue have always been the preferred solution chosen by Ho Chi Minh in resolving national conflicts. The peak of his efforts to save the peace was in late 1945 and early 1946.

With the very active activities of Ho Chi Minh, the French Government signed the Preliminary Agreement with the government of Vietnam on March 6, 1946 and the Provisional Agreement on September 14, 1946. However, the French colonialists not only failed to comply but also sought to sabotage and actively prepare for war in order to once again occupy our entire country, with blatant provocations throughout the country.

In particular, from the beginning of December 1946, they continuously incited armed conflicts such as: burning information houses on Trang Tien street, occupying the offices of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, massacring many of our compatriots in Hang Bun Street, causing bloodshed on Long Bien Bridge, in Cua Dong area, on Yen Ninh street, etc..

Faced with these provocative actions of the enemy, for the sake of peace for the Vietnamese people as well as the French people, Ho Chi Minh invoked the good values that both Vietnamese and French peoples were aiming for, in order to avoid conflict that would lead to sacrifice and bloodshed. The writer wrote: “The blood of Vietnam and the blood of France has been spilled a lot. Don’t pour any more... Vietnamese and French believe in the same morality: Freedom, Equality, Charity, Independence. The Vietnamese and the French can and should join hands in an equal and honest partnership to build the common happiness of both peoples”(6).

In his appeal to the National Assembly and the French Government, Ho Chi Minh expressed his burning desire in building peace and good relations between the two peoples of Vietnam and France: “I love my country and my compatriots, I also love France and the French people. Therefore, I earnestly urge the French National Assembly and Government to think of the supreme common interests of the two peoples of France and Vietnam, order the French authorities to restore the status before November 20, 1946, to work with the Government of Vietnam to implement the Temporary Agreement, in order to build friendly and long-term Franco-Vietnamese cooperation”(7).

He also gave the message “My compatriots and I sincerely want peace. We don’t want war... This war we want to avoid by all means... Vietnam needs to be rebuilt, Vietnam doesn’t want to be a place where thousands of lives are buried”(8).

From September 1945 to the end of 1946, Ho Chi Minh and the Government of Vietnam expressed their views and their peaceful positions over 30 times in resolving the Vietnam - France conflict. Then, from January to May 1947, Vietnam officially offered to end the war by negotiation 20 times. Ho Chi Minh sent letters 14 times to the President, Government, National Assembly and people of France, asking to end the war and save peace... However, the French colonialists rejected all of Ho Chi Minh’s suggestions, deciding to use military measures to solve the Vietnam-France relationship. Thus, despite his best efforts, the earnest calls for peace that Ho Chi Minh made on behalf of the Vietnamese people, there went unanswered(9).

Writing about Ho Chi Minh, General Vo Nguyen Giap affirmed: “He did not pass up an opportunity no matter how small to take advantage of the possibility of peace and revolutionary development”(10). During the resistance war against the US, to save the country, from 1961 to 1965, he repeatedly expressed his goodwill for peace through interviews with foreign news agencies and reporters. Not only that, he also directly wrote letters and sent telegrams to the US Government requesting negotiations to find a solution to the South Vietnam issue.

At the end of 1963, after Ngo Dinh Diem was overthrown, Ho Chi Minh sent a letter to the US Government requesting to conduct negotiations between Vietnam and the US, but his messages were not answered. He also expressed his agreement with the view of the UN Secretary-General at that time about proposing “A direct exchange between Hanoi and Washington”. He welcomed the idea of French President Charles Gaulle to convene a summit of four major countries (the US - France - the Soviet Union and China) to discuss ending the wars in Vietnam and Laos. The person who advocated concessions, even “rolling out the red carpet and sprinkled flowers for the US to withdraw”...

Unfortunately, all of the abovementioned goodwill were denied. The US imperialists still refused to give up their plot to invade our country, sending massive amounts of expeditionary troops and the most modern means and weapons of war into South Vietnam...

Obviously, the colonialists and imperialists with their belligerent nature and ambition to invade have put Vietnam in front of the choice of “surrender” or “fight”. For the sake of independence, for the peace of the nation, the Vietnamese people were forced to stand up and take up arms. For Ho Chi Minh, peace is a consistent and long-term goal, but the struggle for peace is a revolutionary struggle in which, in the necessary situation, violence is required to achieve this goal. Ho Chi Minh especially believed that when the war ended, the door to peace and friendship between countries was still open, the bridge of negotiation will still be bridged to unite the nations, eliminate hatred, and build a better world together.

President Ho Chi Minh’s thought and practical activities for peace with strong sense of humanity have met the aspirations of the Vietnamese people, gathering them for a successful revolution. At the same time, those thoughts and activities are also principles in international behavior that many peace-loving countries of the world have pursued until this day. This is also the reason why the two resistance wars of the Vietnamese people were always supported by the peace-loving people in many countries, with different political regimes around the world.

Decades have passed, but even while President Ho Chi Minh was alive, his great contributions to peace were recognized by friends around the world.

In February 1958, Indian Prime Minister J. Nehru once said: “The world today has gone through a crisis, a psychological crisis. What is needed now is an approach to peace and friendship. Ho Chi Minh is an expression of that approach”(11). Even the opinion of “insiders”, who were opponents of Ho Chi Minh, such as French President Mitterrand during his visit to Vietnam in February 1993 also admitted: “That war - the Indochina War 1945-1954 - has always been a mistake for me.”, that “Mr. Ho Chi Minh searched for interlocutors but could not find them, although he was very eager to negotiate towards independence, he was pushed into the war”(12).

In particular, in the Resolution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on the 100th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday, it was clearly stated: Ho Chi Minh “an outstanding symbol of national self-assertion, devoted his life to the cause of national liberation of the Vietnamese people, and contributed to the common struggle of all nations for peace, national independence, democracy and social progress’’(13).

Professor W. Lulay, Humboldt University (Germany) commented: “Ho Chi Minh’s point of view is very consistent with our view today in international conflict resolution... After the Second World War, the tendency to win world peace by non-violent solutions remained weak. It was Ho Chi Minh himself, right from the early days after the 1945 August Revolution in Vietnam, always wanted peace and negotiations with France. Peace and happiness for the people was his lifelong will”(14).

The world is still changing, but President Ho Chi Minh’s dedication to peace will continue to be affirmed. In terms of contributions in both theoretical and practical aspects, especially in practical activities, President Ho Chi Minh is a symbol of peace. Therefore, the baseless misrepresentations by the hostile forces about President Ho Chi Minh aimed at carrying out dark political intrigues need to be eliminated.

_________________

Received: July 29, 2022; Revised: August 2, 2022; Approved for publication: September 26, 2022.

 

Endnotes:

(1) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, vol.15, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011, p.614.

(2) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, op. cit. vol.12, p.107.

(3) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, op. cit. vol.8, p.475.

(4) Báo Cứu quốc (National Salvation Newspaper), No. 57, October 5, 1945.

(5) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, op. cit. vol. 5, p. 256.

(6), (7), (8) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, op. cit. vol.4, p.511, 519, 526.

(9) (9) Later, in his memoir The Story of a Missed Peace, Gistonny, as an interlocutor with Ho Chi Minh of the French Republic for a long time expressed his regret in missing the opportunity for peace in France - Vietnam relations.

(10) Vo Nguyen Giap: Some issues of Ho Chi Minh’s ideological research, People’s Public Security Publishing House, Hanoi, 2004, p.222.

(11) See: Le Van Tich: Ho Chi Minh with the struggle for peace and progress of mankind, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2010, p.15.

(12) Vietnam News Agency; Reference news, No. 033, 1993. See: Le Van Tich: Ho Chi Minh with the struggle for peace and progress of mankind, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2010, p.87.

(13) Weekend People’s Newspaper, No. 48 (1087), November 29, 2009.

(14) International scientific conference: President Ho Chi Minh - Vietnamese Hero of national liberation, Great man of culture, Social Science Publishing House, Hanoi, 1995, p.68.

Dr. TRAN THI HOI

Institute of Ho Chi Minh and Party Leaders,

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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