While the Vietnamese people are heartened and proud of their great and historic achievements brought about by 20 years of renovation, and enthusiastically implementing the resolution of the 10th Party Congress, hostile forces are increasing their activities against the Vietnamese revolution. One of their artifices is to use the labels of democracy and human rights which is far different from the correct interiority of human rights and democracy. Hostile forces use these labels to distort and blacken the situation in Vietnam, to perturb and create disunity in Vietnam. These hostile forces use democracy and human rights as a pretext and tool of external policy to intervene in the internal affairs of Vietnam.
Hostile forces have long used this label against the Vietnamese revolution but they still can not fool the Vietnamese people.
No one can deny a practical fact that human rights are a universal and global matter. However, human rights also have historical value which are associated with concrete historical conditions and situations in each nation and region in the world. The concept of individual interests to western countries and the concept of national interest and community interest in oriental countries are different from each other and therefore hard to impose upon each other.
Some western countries have used the label of human rights to interfere into other countries’ internal affairs. They assume the right to impose “humanitarian interference” and propagandize the “non-frontier human rights” and the “superiority of human rights over the national sovereignty” at their discretion, with a view to denying the rights of nations, especially the rights of self-determination of the national fate and development path. One thing which has become a universal truth is that all nations are equal in national sovereignty, and the internal affairs of each nation should be determined by itself, no other single country can consider its social, political and economic development model as the pattern and impose it on other countries.
National sovereignty is the sacred right of each nation. Over thousands of years of building and protecting the country, the Vietnamese people fully understand the true value of national sovereignty, national independence and national freedom. The struggle for national construction and protection of the Vietnamese people has aimed at the sole goal of national independence, freedom and happiness for the nation and individuals, with the highest value being human rights.
At the Declaration of independence which founded the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, President Ho Chi Minh emphasized that “all people are born equal; the creator gives them the rights which no one has the right to violate. Of those rights, there are the rights to live, to enjoy freedom and happiness.
This is an immortal statement from the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence. To generalize, this statement means that all people in the world are born equal, enjoy the right to freedom and happiness(1).
Indeed, humans can not have freedom, happiness and enjoy their true human rights if their country is not free and independent. Without independence, citizens of a country cannot have freedom. For a nation which is still under foreign domination, independence and freedom are only dreams for its citizens. National independence is the necessary and sufficient condition for the assurance of human rights. Therefore, the idea which considers human rights superior to national sovereignty is just a label used by hostile forces for the purpose of interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign countries.
The Vietnamese people have undergone uninterrupted years of war and lost huge amounts of blood and bone to seize their national independence, freedom and democracy for the nation from foreign invaders. Therefore, they will not be fooled into handing over their freedom and democracy to the vanquished who still harbour a grudge, so that they can return to seize their rights to live, and their rights to freedom and democracy one more time. When discussing human rights, those who outrageously and self-righteously trampled on the human rights of the Vietnamese people and other nations, are ineligible to judge human rights. They always state that they respect independence, freedom, democracy and human rights. But reality refutes their statement of respect. They themselves have had a hand in the overthrow of administrations constitutionally elected by the people. They are the ones who used force to attack independent and sovereign nations and massacred innocent civilians on the grounds that the administrations of these countries did not follow the swagger-cane of these hostile forces. All these actions have been laid bare before the entire world. Thus, their arguments cannot deceive any one, except those who have crooked and nasty minds. The label of human rights and democracy used by these hostile forces against the Vietnamese revolution is obsolete and outdated.
The Vietnamese people are living in an independent, democratic and liberal country with all their human rights. The democracy of Vietnam is implemented through the constitution and law under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the management of the Socialist State of law of the people, by the people and for the people. This State brings into full play the self-reliant spirit and creativeness of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and ensures the true mastership of the Vietnamese people for a rich people, strong nation and a civilized, democratic and equitable society. This socialist State always consider the people as the root of the nation according to the principle “people know, people do and people examine and people decide their labor outcomes. The Vietnamese people have been implementing socialist democracy in order to bring into full play the strength of the great national unity, exploit all internal power and potentials to develop the country to drive our nation out of the less developed status and become an modern industrialized country by 2020 (2)
The apparatus and operational mechanism of the State and the political system have been renewed in parallel with public administrative reform in order to tackle corruption, bureaucracy and harassment to the people, and build a strong, wealthy, equitable and civilized country. Although still facing a number of limitations and challenges, the socio-economic development in our country has witnessed significant achievements. However, hostile forces still continue their campaign on human rights with a view to distorting and blackening the Vietnamese revolution. In essence, this is a plot to incite and wheedle some gullible people in order to create something as pretext for their attack and criticism of Vietnam on the issues of human rights and democracy.
Recently, public opinion in Vietnam criticized the rousing comments of the congresswomen Mme Loretta Sanchez about the current democracy in Vietnam and a resolution dated 2nd May 2007 of the American House of Representatives on some dissidents against the State in Vietnam. The public considered the behavior of Mme Sanchez during her visit to Vietnam and the contents of the above-mentioned resolution as not appropriate and beneficial to the development of the relationship between the two countries.
By continuing to harbour the feud against our country, hostile forces have exploited the matter of human rights and democracy to incite some opportunists and degenerate individuals in Vietnam to instigate violent disturbances against the socialist regime in Vietnam. This is unrighteous and serious interference into the internal affairs of Vietnam – an independent and sovereign country.
Based on the mistaken concept which considers human rights superior to sovereignty, hostile forces used human rights as the means to implement their plot of dominating the world. Self-proclaiming themselves as judge and international gendarme to teach others about human rights, but in fact they are using human rights as a tool to interfere into the internal affairs of other countries.
Each nation has its own historical, cultural and social characteristics and traditions. The socio-economic development level varies from one country to another. The Vietnamese nation since the date the Communist Party assumed its leadership has attained historic achievements: from the status of semi-feudal colony, our people struggled to seize back national independence and liberty, and develop according to the socialist path. Our people also regained their mastership over the country and society. The position and prestige of Vietnam in the international arena has constantly increased. Our country has advanced from a poor, backward and agricultural economy to the stage of industrialization and modernization. These are great, strategic achievements which have opened a new development stage for the country. These are also achievements in human rights and democracy which our people have acquired and no one can deny them.
The Vietnamese people always affirm that national independence and socialism are the goal of the Vietnamese revolution. This goal is in line with the development trend of the era and the legitimate aspirations of the Vietnamese people. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, our people can confidently protect national independence and successfully build socialism in Vietnam and well maintain the true democracy and human rights in daily life. The Vietnamese people attach great importance to and are grateful for the assistance from the international community. The development of our country implicitly shows that we need not rely on other developed nations to civilize us. Hostile forces and any others who want to throw a spanner in the works, will definitely and certainly be defeated and condemned by history.
* Prof. Academician, The Institute of Social Science.
(1) Ho Chi Minh, Complete set, the National Political Publishing, Hanoi, 1995, Volume 4, page 1.
(2) Document of the 10th Party Congress, the National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 2006, page 76.