Author: Iramsy Peraza Forte | email@example.com
March 28, 2018 21:03:30
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
More than four decades after the victory over the American invaders and the beginning of reunification, Vietnam remains an inspiration.
The nation that became an example for all the revolutionaries of the world, stands today as a symbol of self-improvement.
The route taken by the implementation of the Doi Moi policy in 1986 not only enabled the Vietnamese to recover from that bloody war in which the United States, with the exception of nuclear weapons, used the most advanced military technology, but also catapulted them into one of the most dynamic economies of today with remarkable growth rates.
After 32 years, the country’s outstanding economic indicators demonstrate the success of this process, but also the major challenges it faces in ensuring the full well-being of its people.
Today’s Vietnam is not only strong and consolidated, it is also one of the territories with the greatest socio-economic progress in Asia. Over the last decade, the state has experienced sustained growth and last year the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) exceeded US $220 billion, with an expansion rate of 6.81%, the highest since 2011.
The renewal driven by the Vietnamese Party and Government has been focused on the diversification of the economy, as well as its insertion as a competitor in the world market. The country has gone from being a net importer of rice to becoming the world’s second-largest exporter. It is also discussing the top spots in the export of other products such as coffee, rubber, textiles, and footwear. In 2017 alone, exports exceeded US $213.77 billion, up 21.1% year-on-year.
In less than two decades, more than 20 million people have been lifted out of poverty. Primary school enrolment has reached almost 100%. Life expectancy is now around 70 years. These indicators, together with rapid economic progress, have placed it among the fastest-growing emerging countries.
The renewal also established a gradual growth strategy that combined domestic policies with the creation of a network of geopolitical alliances, first in the region and then towards the rest of the world.
The impact of Doi Moi is also notable in the process of industrialization, one of the long-term goals of the Indochinese country. Despite facing more than 20 years of a blockade imposed by the US government, Vietnam opted for the construction of a socialist state that would transform its primary economy from manual agriculture, where 90% of its population was rural.
Some of the routes approved at the 12th Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) to achieve the goal of industrialization, set for 2035, have already been undertaken. They involve renewing the economic structure, raising productivity, strengthening macroeconomic stability and developing human resources to improve competitiveness in a technology-driven world.
But like any strategy, Vietnam’s reform process can also be improved and there are a number of challenges that Vietnam must face.
To continue on the path to success, the country has set out to create a greater investment climate, to free up much more productive forces, to deploy all economic components and to increase competitiveness, a prerequisite for consolidating itself as a middle-income nation and taking the next step.
But economic progress is only one part of the Vietnamese renewal process, and despite progress, the social costs of that transformation are recognized.
The total eradication of poverty, the reduction of inequalities, the reduction of child mortality and environmental sustainability, among others, are essential issues for the nation, aware that only in this way can it emulate the developed countries.
According to their authorities, to achieve the prosperity of all Vietnamese people, it is necessary to fight to narrow the gap between rich and poor, to pay greater attention to mountainous, remote and devastated areas and to generate greater opportunities for the most disadvantaged.
Achieving full access in education and exponentially improving its quality is another of the challenges and priorities of Vietnamese policy, which is committed to increasing resources for the training of its young people, who will have nation-building over their peers in the future.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for daily POR ESTO! of Mérida, México.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“Two of the world’s greatest revolutionaries –Jose Marti and Ho Chi Minh– lived for some time in the United States.
Both had deep knowledge of US history and culture. Both saw the dark side of that nation, but also acknowledged great revolutionary potential in the democratic ideals of the United States. The Vietnamese Ho Chi Minh wrote about the Ku Klux Klan and lynching, while, in the 19th Century, Cuban Jose Martí warned against the evidence of the coming advent of imperialism in North America.”
The quotation is from “Vietnam and Other American Fantasies,” a book by Bruce H. Franklin (b.1934), the multiple award-winning scholar and writer on historical cultural topics.
Franklin’s book attempts to demolish the fantasies, myths, and lies that most people in the United States believe about the relatively recent Vietnam War. It uncovers the truth about what was really an imperialist war against the people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
That war was rejected by the heroic struggle of tens of millions of people in the US. The dominant narrative today in the United States claim there was a democratic nation called South Vietnam, and another evil one called North Vietnam that was part of a communist imperial dictatorship. North Vietnam wished to invade South Vietnam.
The United States, being the leader of the free world and the defender of democracy on Earth, had to go to South Vietnam in 1965 to defend it and got bogged down in a quagmire. “We could not win the war because we fought with one hand tied behind our back, because of some university students mobilized by veteran left-leaning professors and the actress Jane Fonda.”
In his book, Franklin explains that Vietnam was a single country, not two countries. The US war against Vietnam began in 1945, not in 1965. The anti-war movement was initiated by US soldiers and sailors who were its vanguard, and in the endydct k made it impossible for Washington to continue the war in 1945.
Between 1945 and 1975 the Vietnamese revolution led the global struggle against colonialism that brought independence to half the world’s population. During those three decades, the US struggled to preserve colonialism and became the leader of neo-colonialism, the ultimate form of imperialism in the world.
Franklin recalls the true story of the day when Japan surrendered: August 14, 1945, recalling his experiences that day, when he was eleven years old. He was riding in a van full of children in joyful celebration in the streets of the Brooklyn neighborhood where he then lived. “We believed in a future of peace and prosperity, quite different from that of a nation always at war, as we live in now.”
That day in August was the beginning of the revolution in Vietnam, when the Vietnamese people rose and, in less than three weeks, defeated the Japanese and the French and established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
On September 2, Ho Chi Minh read out the declaration of independence to half a million Vietnamese in Hanoi, the former capital of a new nation that had been fighting for independence for over 2,000 years.
Suddenly, two fighter planes appeared above the crowd. When the Vietnamese recognized US insignia on the planes, they shouted for joy. They believed that the Americans were their friends and allies, and that they were the champions of freedom and independence from colonialism.
Washington, however, conspired with Paris to launch an invasion against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam whose goal was to restore French colonial rule. The United States would provide arms and financing. This, Franklin points out, was the true beginning of the war against Vietnam and marks the beginning of the US people’s movement against that war.
The British troops who had been sent to Saigon to disarm the remaining Japanese forces, instead gave weapons to the Japanese who had been recently disarmed by the Vietnamese. Soon the Japanese joined the British together with the remnants of the French colonial forces to wage war against the newly-declared independent nation of Vietnam.
When Washington later decided to replace France in the war against Vietnam, fierce opposition from US citizens prevented it, and for that reason, direct US military involvement had to be initially disguised.
Bruce H. Franklin recalls that, although it was the struggle of the Vietnamese which defeated the United States, the anti-war movement, especially in the armed forces, ultimately forced Washington to sign a peace treaty that included, word by word, each demand of the victorious Vietnamese liberation forces.