April 2

Nguyen Ai Quoc held a meeting with overseas Vietnamese living in France at lawyer Phan Van Truong’s house in Paris, to discuss setting up the “Hoi Than ai” (Affection Association) to help Vietnamese people living in that country. The association was established soon after the meeting in April 1923.


President Ho Chi Minh (foreground) and his secretary, Vu Ky, in 1960

Inprekorr magazine (French publication) published by the Communist International carried his article titled “What does French Imperialism dare to do?”
The article narrated French colonialists’ complicity with the British imperialists in India and policies towards Tripoli residents who fled to Tunisia to seek refuge because they were hunted down by the Italian imperialists.
He concluded that “French Imperialism truly doesn’t hesitate to have a hand in the most despicable crimes.”
One day in April 1924
He wrote an article titled “North African Farmers” in Quoc Te Nong Dan (Peasant International) based on his study of the cultures and lives of farmers living in countries colonized by France, like Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria.
He said: “France’s colonial regime has subverted the collective nature of the native people. The colonialists are finally the winners and native people have to yield and give land to them.”  
The article also raised the question: “What benefit does the colonial regime bring to poor French farmers? None! Only dirty politicians, greedy dealers, and huge capitalists benefit.”
“It is hard to say who among the Annam people in Indochina, blacks in Congo and Senegal, or the native people in North Africa are exploited more?”
He concluded: “The North African people will disappear from the earth if the awakened proletarian class doesn’t save them from the ‘monster civilization’.”
Also at this time, Nguyen Ai Quoc wrote an article titled “Class solidarity” about an event in a workers’ movement in Brazil, then a colony of Portugal.
The article said: “As a result, though skin colors are different, there are only two human races: exploiters and exploited. And there is only one fraternity which is true: the proletarian fraternity.”
Presiding over a Government Council meeting, he said: “Embezzlement and squander have been warned against a long time ago but so far no one has done [anything to address them].”
He said they were caused by weak financial management, penalties, responsibility, and inspection, adding: “These four factors open the door to embezzlement and squander.”
He asked ministries to tackle these problems by strengthening oversight and education and adopting a strict reward and punishment regime and tough disciplinary measures.

By Duong Trung Quoc* and co-writers
*The author is a historian and member of the National Assembly

Translated by Hoang Yen

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