October 18

In a letter to the people of Lao Cai Province, President Ho Chi Minh said, “Dear people in Lao Cai, I know that you have been recently very anxious. Being anxious is right.

President Ho Chi Minh visits a preschool in Thanh Hoa Province in 1961 (File photo)

“Our country has become independent, and our flag has flown throughout the country. But people at the border haven’t known the situation well, so how can’t you be anxious?
“I know your patriotism is very fierce now. It is a good proof for the country’s destiny. From now on, our people have to show close solidarity to fight to the end to achieve freedom and happiness.”
At a Government Council meeting, he said, “To enhance people’s spirit, the Government should encourage every family to write a slogan, for instance, ‘Determined to gain independence and support Southern soldiers’ to stick on the wall in their house.”
“The Government must call people to practice thrift and not live luxuriously, and ask newspapers to write encouragement articles.”
At the Capital Labor Women Conference he asked women of all classes to “contribute to building socialism in the North and fight to unify the Fatherland.”
“Those who are traders need to be honest and righteous, and get rid of ‘buying at cheap prices but selling at high prices’ and ‘bargaining and overcharging.’”
“You have to take good care of your children’s health with all your heart because children are the nation’s future.”
Receiving a delegation of the Mali Government headed by President Modibo Keita, he said, “The President [Keita] went a long way to bring Vietnamese people friendship of fraternal Mali and brave African people. This is an honor and also a great encouragement for our Vietnamese people.”
Regarding the Vietnamese people’s struggle to achieve national unity, he said, “Though the fight is still tense and arduous, we believe that finally the US will be defeated and the Vietnamese people will win. Nations who fight for peace and whose peoples fight for liberation are all in the same front, though they are from Asia, Africa or Latin America.”
At a Politburo meeting to discuss the South’s revolution situation, he said the immediate aim was stopping the enemy from bombing the North so that it could assist the South, preparing for a furious fight, and seizing opportunities.
“It is like a rice-cooking technique. If the rice is done too early it will be undercooked, and if the rice is done too late, it will be burned.”

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

Transtaled by Minh Thu

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