August 18


While World War II was entering its last stages, through the US’s Office of Strategic Services (OSS), President Ho Chi Minh, the chairman of the National Liberation Committee of Vietnam, sent to the French Government  five proposals: The French Government should recognize the Government set up by the Viet Minh (League for the Vietnamese Revolution); Viet Minh will recognize France’s rights in Vietnam for five to 10 years before France grants independence to Vietnam; for five to 10 years after that, Vietnam gets autonomy over internal issues; Vietnam will provide incentives to the French in their industrial and trading activities in Vietnam; and French experts can acts as diplomatic counselors for Vietnam.

“Appeal for general uprising” launched by President Ho Chi Minh on August 18, 1945, calls on all people to join the struggle for national independence (File photo)

The message was also sent to the Allies.

The same day saw the president issue an “Appeal for general uprising,” which read: “Because of solidarity we have created a force, and with that force we will gain independence. Recently, the Viet Minh convened a national congress to elect the Vietnam National Liberation Committee that leads the nation in the struggle for independence. This committee acts as a provisional government. Let us support it so that its policies and orders will be executed across the country. That way, we will soon gain independence for the fatherland and freedom for the nation.

“Dear people! It is high time to determine our nation’s destiny. Everyone should rise up to liberate yourself by your own strength. Many suppressed nations in the world are rising up to fight for their independence. We must not lag behind. Dear compatriots, Go ahead! Go ahead bravely under the Viet Minh flag!”

President Ho Chi Minh also sent a letter to Charles Fenn, an OSS officer in Kunming, China, who had a close relationship with the leaders of the Allies in Southern China.

He wrote: “The war has eventually ended. It is a good thing for everyone. But our countries, small and dependent, have little or no share in the victory for freedom and democracy. If we want to have a bigger share, we have to continue our struggle. I believe that you and the US people will offer us support. I also believe that sooner or later we will achieve our goal. That goal is just and our country will become independent. I expect some day I will be glad to meet you and my American friends in Indochina or in the US.”


Calling on people and soldiers in the northern Phu Tho Province, President Ho Chi Minh advised: “Our party is a revolutionary one. Our Party has no other interests but the interests of our people. For that reason, the people have love and respect for the Party. Today, the Party’s duties are to lead the people in the fight against poverty and backwardness and bring a high standard of living to the people.”


Despite bad health, President Ho Chi Minh took time to work with Foreign Minister Nguyen Duy Trinh to reply to a letter US President Richard Nixon sent to the President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Translated by Truc Thinh

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