New Communist Leaders; 'Lying' in Free Countries
Byline: Romeo V Pefianco
(Editors note: In Vietnam and China the new ideologies of commerce, trade and agriculture have replaced the old faith in political changes discussed in this article.)
THE old-style leaders of socialist Communist states were prone to lecture on such subjects as "social evils," "exploitation of the people or masses," and "capitalist dogs."
At the hotel lobbies in Ho Chi Minh City foreign tourists and Vietnamese businessmen talk about building a new bridge across Saigon River, power plants, converting river resource into clean water for the homes.
The young Vietnamese think of food processing, textiles, manufacturing machine building and modern agriculture. They seldom refer to the "great wars" they successively fought and won: 1) against Japan, 1940 to 1945; 2) against France, 1945 to 1954, and 3) against America, 1964 to 1975.
I asked a knowledgeable Vietnamese friend if hybrid rice now being propagated in RP could stop our import of rice and cause Filipino farmers to harvest a surplus to export even 10,000 to 20,000 metric tons yearly, which is the latest boast of our agriculture officials.
My friend was too courteous and specific in his answer: "Your country needs an irrigation with year-round supply of water, especially in summer when sunlight is longer that kills pests of all forms. You said your country imports close to one million tons yearly costing US$230.50 M. But your nations irrigation lacks water and all rice varieties, including hybrid, cant grow without water. To replace huge imports will take 10 to 20 years as was our experience since 1975. Remember, population multiplies faster than crops!"
I dropped my head and thought about his frank evaluation. I asked if RPs agriculture and grains officials were lying to our farmers and the government.
His quick reply: "Not lying; its only a case of not telling the whole truth. Officials who lie in Vietnam are severely punished by the Party," (meaning the Communist Party).
Modernizing the economy
According to rumor being peddled by the foreign press (one is The New York Times), the new Party Secretary-General Nong Duc Manh is the son of Ho Chi Minh. He was named party head in April 2001 with the aim of modernizing the economy especially the industrial sector and to end corruption. The Communist Party has no goal of easing its political control as shown by the May 2002 "elections" of members of the National Assembly in which the party won 447 of 498 seats.
According to my Vietnamese friends they will again elect new Assembly members nationwide next month, yes May 2004. …