Some interesting details on Uncle Ho via a book

Posted at: FRIday - 28/04/2006 10:17 - post name: Administrator

Some interesting details on Uncle Ho via a book

In the book: “Ho Chi Minh - A life” with nearly 700 pages, Prof. William J. Duiker had provided us with many precious documents and interesting details about Uncle Ho. One of the details is a picture in the newspaper “Le Paria” the chief editor cum decorater painter of it, is no other than Nguyen Ai Quoc alias our Uncle Ho to day. Because at the right end of the picture there is a signature with his pen name: NGUYEN A.Q.

The picture illustrated an obese, paunchy European man idly sprawling in a rickshaw drawn by an emaciated, skinny Vietnamese. It noted the words uttered by the European on the rickshaw: “Run faster! Do prove thy fidelity, by God!”

Most interestingly, when meeting again with Ho Chi Minh in 1946 at Paris on the occasion of the Fontainebleau Conference as an honoured guest of the French Government, the famous painter Picasso recollected his impression versus the above picture by Nguyen Ai Quoc at that time. Mr. Vu Dinh Huynh, particular secretary of Uncle Ho, also present in the Ho Chi Minh - Picasso meeting, had related the words of the famous painter as follows:

“Only through some strokes of a pen, we could sense a great soul concealed inside. If ever you go on the path of painting, you would be a reputed painter. But to day brother Nguyen had become President Ho Chi Minh, author of the picture being at the fore front in the struggle for independence and liberty of a nation”.

The comment by Picasso is comparable with the comment by Prof. William J. Duiker in assessing the life of President Ho Chi Minh in his book just recently published “Ho Chi Minh – A life”.

“Mr. Ho is not only the founder of the Party, and subsequently the president of State, but also a principal strategist and a manifestation of the country creating a strongest inspiration. He is a talented organizer as well as a wise strategist and a charismatic leader. The personality of Ho Chi Minh is a half of Lenin, a half of Gandhi, and is a dynamic combination of both. The national liberation of Vietnam is an event of necessity, inevitable, transcendent above the destiny of separate individuals; but without him, this event shall have a context very different, and also consequences very different… He combined in himself two pivotal forces of the Vietnam’s modern history, among others: aspiration to conquer national independence and aspiration to win socio economic equity.

Since these two forces go beyond the limit of his nation’s border, so Mr Ho could communicate his message to all colonial nations world wide, and meet their requirement on an honourable and free life to evade from the oppression of imperialism.

Despite how will be the final judgement on his legacy to his people, Ho Chi Minh always win his meritorious position on the remembrance monument of revolutionary heroes having persistently fought for distressed people in the world in helping them speak openly by their authentic voice”.

The book “Ho Chi Minh – A life” also puts forth a detail at page 572 where our leader replied to a question posed by Charles Fenn, a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent, in 1945, on the first days of the victorious August Revolution.

“First of all, you should understand that conquering the independence from a great power such as France is a very heavy task that is only successful with a certain support from outside not necessarily by armaments, but also by advices and contacts. As a matter of fact, it is impossible to conquer independence by bombers. That was an error often committed by previous revolutionaries; independence must be conquered through organistation, propaganda, training and discipline. It is also necessary to have a firm faith, a gospel, an analysis of actual situation - you could call it a Bible, Marxism - Leninism had given me all these things”.  

Then Fenn asked why President Ho did not choose a democratic regime or any other political system instead of Marxist – leninist ideology likely to cause a loss of sympathy, good will of USA, a country often extolled by President Ho. Uncle Ho replied that only having come to Moscow he received a substantial aid. Among the powers, only Soviet Union is a true friend of Vietnam, despite that this friend is not rich enough and still suffers many privations. Other true friends of Vietnam are Asian and African peoples still groaning under the oppression, exploitation by imperialism. Prior to the world war I, Uncle Ho had worked in vessels travelling to many places in the world, and he had met with Asian, African labour friends who suffered also from the yoke of imperialism and were very sympathic with Vietnamese people suffering from the same misery.

Enclosed a letter in English sent by Uncle Ho to Charles Fenn when the latter was in Southern China. In this letter, Uncle Ho informed that he does have much sympathy with USA, and he called upon for USA supporting the national liberation struggle of Vietnam.

Hereinafter the integral letter sent by Uncle Ho to Mr. Bernard and Mr. Fenn CIA agents under General Chennault:

“Dear Mr. Bernard and Mr. Fenn,

Thank you very much for having taken care of our boys. I expect they will learn and grasp special matters indispensable to our common struggle against Japanese clique.

I hope you will soon visit us here, at our guerilla base. It shall be enlarged.

Please convey my respectful egards to General Chennault

Best wishes from your true friend.

May 5th

At the end of the letter there is a short typed paragraph, not handwritten, as follows:

“Dear Mr. Fenn,

I thank you very much for your positive friendship. I will try my best to assign a guy to meet you. Please convey my greeting to our friends. I send to you my dearest congratulations, and Ho Chi Minh is and will be your true friend forever”.


William J. Duiker is professor of East Asia studies at Pensylvania University. He was originally a diplomatic officer, having worked in Viet Nam before 1975. He is an expert of Viet Nam contemporary history and of China. For writing the book “Ho Chi Minh - A life” he had consacred over 30 years collecting documents and travelling many times in Viet Nam after 1975.

Source: Yesterday and Today n° 102, October 2001

Author: Minh Chi
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