August 13

1921

During his stay in France, Nguyen Ai Quoc visited Vietnamese lawyer Phan Van Truong and stayed at his home in Paris. He later attended a meeting of the Socialist Party of France’s District 13 Party Committee.

President Ho Chi Minh, who said in 1962: “To organize and develop the force of the working class well, it is necessary to have strong trade unions and capable trade union officials.” (File photo)

French spies kept tabs on all this.

1942

President Ho Chi Minh arrived in China to set up relations with overseas Vietnamese politicians and carry out an international lobby for Vietnam’s struggle for national liberation.

1945

Knowing that Japan had surrendered to the Allies, President Ho Chi Minh, who was at Tan Trao resistance base, issued an order of general uprising and convened urgent meetings of the Party Central Committee and the National Congress. His order asked the army to focus military actions on urban areas, launch attacks on escaping Japanese troops, and prepare forces to take on French troops who might return to Vietnam. 

1946

In the face of a possible collapse of the Fontainebleau Conference in Paris, President Ho Chi Minh tried to save the situation by making a statement on French newspaper Franc-tireur: “I do not want to return to Hanoi with empty hands. I want to come back with the cooperation we expect from the French Government.

"Vietnam is not responsible for ongoing conflicts. A favorable atmosphere should be created for the cooperation between Vietnam and France. We have decided to guarantee France’s economic, cultural, and spiritual interests, but the French in turn must ensure independence for Vietnam.”

1952

In a congratulatory message to the Lao Resistance Government on its anniversary, President Ho Chi Minh wrote: “The Lao people’s victory is regarded as that of the Vietnamese people and of the Vietnam-Cambodia-Laos alliance in the fight against our common enemy.

1954 

In “Experience in public mobilization” he wrote on Nhan Dan (The People) newspaper under the pseudonym C. B., President Ho Chi Minh was critical of land reforms carried out in around 200 communes.

He wrote: “The main shortcoming is the bad execution of the policies on land reforms, which has led to a failure to differentiate the good from the bad, distrust among local officials and those in charge of land reform, and random seizures.”

He concluded: “To improve their performance, all officials in charge of land reform must earnestly review their actions to correct mistakes and promote their strong points.”

1962

At a conference of trade union officials in Northern Vietnam, President Ho Chi Minh said: “To organize and develop the force of the working class well, it is necessary to have strong trade unions and capable trade union officials.

“Lenin said: ‘A trade union is a school of communism.’ To make it come true, trade union cadres must comprehend collective consciousness and thrift. They must also educate the public in these virtues. Cadres must help farmers improve farming techniques, consolidate the solidarity between workers and farmers, and fight bureaucracy and extravagance.”

By Duong Trung Quoc and his assistants
The author is a historian and member of the National Assembly

Translated by Truc Thinh

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