Trần Quốc Việt (Danlambao) On July, 1988 Tuoi Tre newspaper published a letter from student Le Vinh Nguyen in Nha Trang:
I feel betrayed and I want to know why …
We were told that once liberated, we would build a country ten times as prosperous and beautiful. So why are our citizens still so poor? Why do they not have enough to eat? Why are students rejected from colleges because their of parents’ history?
Innocent people in Vietnam can only look upon the sky for answers. In other countries, officials must be held accountable for any mistakes. When will Vietnam learn this lesson?
This regime is proud of defeating the U.S powerhouse yet it cannot repair potholes on its own roads.
At that time, Vietnam’s population was at 65 million people. Currently Vietnam’s population is at about 90 million people, mostly young people. In this age of information, these young people are more politically aware than their parents were, and they want to step out of the government’s enslavement. They want freedom. They have the courage to act, but do not have enough patience to wait as long as the previous generation. This is a generation of maturity with the ability to decide and act for the future of his nation.
The time from Le Vinh Nguyen’s letter to Nguyen Dac Kien’s courageous article spans one generation.
We went from demands for pothole repairs to demands for the removal of Article 4 of the Constitution (which states that the Communist Party remains the sole guiding party of the country). This proves how far we’ve come and it shows that fear is giving way to freedom.
We can now hope. But we need a lot of people, especially the younger generation, to work together to build the future of the country for ourselves and our children.
Writer Victor Hugo once said “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” Today, those thoughts are expressed through thousands of signatures supporting Statement of the Free Citizens.
History is an extension of tragedy when we choose to exist in fear. But history is hope when we live and act out the call of freedom and conscience.
So those who have not signed for their future please do so now because time does not wait. We will never see the future we desire if we do not act together collectively.
Take a look back at the history of the Soviet Union when communism collapsed from within. From October 1988 to October 1989, four million communist members relinquished their membership. And in early 1990 about 200,000 to 300,000 protesters in Moscow demanded the removal of Article 6 of the Soviet Constitution which is similar to Article 4 of the Constitution of the Vietnamese Communist Party.
If we see all the corruption of the regime but choose to remain silent, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Let’s reach out beyond the shadow of fear and find the light of freedom!