For the past few weeks, the world has witnessed revolutionary winds of change blowing across North Africa . People in these countries are rising up and demanding an end to the autocratic and corrupt regimes which have been oppressing them for decades. People are asking for the fundamental rights of democracy and freedom through free and fair elections. The revolution in Tunisia was a success. The President of Tunisia was forced to leave the country and the Tunisians are working towards an election of a government that reflects the wishes of the majority of the people. The Egyptians have been on the streets non-stop for the past two weeks demanding the departure of Mubarak and free elections. Similar protests are taking place in Algeria, Sudan, and Yemen.
The technological advances in telecommunications have empowered the heretofore oppressed people in these countries and enabled them to organize mass-protests demanding dictatorships be replaced by a plural party system where the rulers are democratically elected by the ruled. The on-going revolutions and mass protests are sending a shudder to one-party systems, autocracies, and military dictatorships. The "Deluge of Democracy" threatens to sink and obliterate various manifestations of dictatorship despite their being burnished with deceitful slogans because these regimes are against the wishes of the governed and against human advances in science and technology.
The path of true democracy is lined up with fundamental rights such as the rights of assembly, free press, plural party system, and unrestricted voting. Such path is being marched on by people in democratic societies. Other people currently living in oppressed conditions are yearning to be on that path. And they are saying that no authoritarian rule reinforced with secret police and practice of torture can stop them from setting foot on that path of democracy.
Vietnam is one of four communist regimes left in the entire world. Communism has been denounced and got rid of elsewhere because it has proven to be an anti-human and oppressive political system. It was also a proven impediment to economic progress. This retarded and retarding political system has been faithfully applied in Vietnam for over 50 years. And it has brought immense sufferings to our undeserving people. Nowadays, not only ordinary Viet dissidents but also former communist cadres and military officers are denouncing and decrying the political system and demanding the regime return to the Viet people their fundamental human rights and stop emulating the anachronistic and obscene transfer of political power through bloodlines as it is being practiced in the economically stagnant North Korea.
Our beloved Vietnam went through horrific destruction and suffering because of the fratricidal civil war brought on by ideological differences. Even after peace was restored, the suffering has continued because of the ruling elite's intolerance of dissension, practice of authoritarianism, and embedded corruption in all strata of society.
It's time the Viet people rise up and exercise the right of self-determination and ask for basic, fundamental human rights be restored. It's time for the Viet people to conquer their fear of arrest, imprisonment, and torture as the Egyptians have conquered theirs. Freedom is never free. It has to be fought for.
Will the Viet people follow the revolutionary winds of change and take to the streets and stay in the streets until their rightful demands are met as the Egyptians are doing? Or will the rulers in Hanoi recognize the necessity of adaptation as the monarch in Jordan is doing, and start instituting democratic reforms?
Hopefully, when the Viet people take to the streets, they do so in celebration because the Hanoi regime has proven to be wily and wise and is responding to the needs of the people, and no longer to its own needs. For this scenario to happen, the new Secretary General of the Viet Communist Party needs to have the mindset of a Mandela or Gorbachev, and not the ossified mindset of a Stalin or Mao.
The first day of The Year Of The Cat
03 February 2011
Le Quang Long, Nguyen Hung, and Ngo Khoa Ba