A Frenchman planted a “liberation flag” of the National Front for Liberation of South Vietnam before the House of Representatives of the Republic of Vietnam in 1970, telling VOA:
Years of living and accompanying the Vietnamese people have helped him see the regime that he once supported, which has become a mafia system with the combination of politics and economy, corruption and human abuse, “unworthy” and not in line with his living concept of “human and human rights.”
Once honored by the Vietnamese government as an “international hero” and specially awarded Vietnamese nationality by President Nguyen Minh Triet as “Ho Cuong Quyet” in 2009, Andre Menras told VOA that in the past, he supported the North Vietnamese government because he could not stand the death of the people during the war in Vietnam, and thought that only that way would help stop the “evil” caused by the war.
“Because I don’t follow any government. I do not follow any ideology. I follow man, his condition in place. In the past, I was a teacher. I am 20 years old, a rugby player in France, which means I don’t care about politics, I don’t know Marx-Lenin, I don’t belong to any union. When I rode a motorbike in the countryside [Vietnam] in 1968, the New Year festival (Tet) of 1969, I saw that the situation of the farmer there was bombed, killed on the road, injured in the abdomen … How to [ I] can stand it? War is the worst evil in this world. So I reacted like a young French man who loves life and didn’t accept it. I did as I saw it, not ideologically,” Menras told VOA.
However, what young Andre Menras at that time did not expect was that a few dozen years later, it was he who spoke out against the government that once he enthusiastically supported.
“My values are still here, but I change the issue of following anyone, not following anyone or the government because I see in Vietnam a very clear fact that people are being robbed by the authorities, despised and suppressed. One party, the Communist Party, disrespects its people and is corrupt. Not a little corruption but a systemic corruption, a political mafia system associated with business, hoodlum, and moreover, I find them cowardly to China,” said Andre Menras.
After the movie “Hoang Sa: The pain of loss” about the lives of fishermen in central Vietnam due to the Chinese persecution, Andre Menras recently announced a new film called “Vietnam: Screams from inside,” which gathered a lot of voices from the senior officials of the regime such as Major General Nguyen Trong Vinh, former Deputy Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City Youth Delegation Doctor Huynh Tan Mam, former political prisoner Le Cong Giau, writer Nguyen Ngoc, artist Kim Chi and many other intellectuals such as Prof. Dr. Chu Hao, educator Pham Toan, Bishop Nguyen Thai Hop, and lawyer Dang Dinh Manh, etc.
Mr. Menras said the film he had been working alone for 2 months was meant to record “screams” about the truth within a society “not really peaceful” as it showed.
“Some people who fought in the past have served this regime,” he said. But slowly they could not stand the inhumane evil of this totalitarian regime and felt betrayed. Like myself, the values that I have fought for human beings, for peace, I see this regime trampling, they are beggars in the past and do the opposite, taking advantage of that.”
In the film, Major General Nguyen Trong Vinh, who is 104 years old and his hearing is no longer good, admits that Vietnam needs to change, but first must have democracy. “Without democracy, nothing is possible,” the communist general added.
According to the French director and freelance filmmaker, this “revealing truth” film was not part of his original intention.
Last year, Mr. Menras returned to Vietnam with the intention of making a new documentary on Truong Sa, but the fact that a friend was arrested after attending a meeting with other intellectuals made him completely change his mind and determination to make a film about human rights.
“Some people asked me to film, record their words. I did not ask. They ask. They are happy that there is a way to be able to speak that people outside and in the country can hear. I am very impressed by their attitude. They do it not because of them because their lives are already behind them, but for the new generation, for the future of the country. Those are very patriotic people,” Mr. Menras added.
This French-Vietnamese citizen said that with more than half a century of living with Vietnamese, Menras has long considered Vietnam as his country, and he “has the right and responsibility” to say good things for the country.
The French filmmaker is currently trying to spread the film internationally, hoping that the voices of the intellectuals in the film will be heard, and let the outside know the true status of the people in Vietnam’s “peaceful” society.
“They must know that this regime declared war on the people, and typically the Dong Tam case, when thousands of mobile police attacked a small farmer village where ordinary people have served the regime for decades, and brutally execute an old man who was disabled in bed. So whose regime is this?” Mr. Menras told VOA.
Borrowing the Vietnamese “fantasist, transient mandarin” sentence, Mr. Andre Menras said he was convinced that Vietnam would have to change, although he did not want and did not dare to make any predictions about the future of the country. This second incense.
“I learned that it must be very humble when it comes to history. When I came to Vietnam, I never thought I would fly the liberation flag. When I raised the liberation flag, I didn’t think [I] was alive, [that] would be shot to death. After that, I did not think I will be in prison. I did not think after 5 years, there will be no bombs, no smoke in Vietnam. But as Vo Van Kiet said, don’t think that ‘million people will be sad’.”
“As the saying goes in Vietnam, it is said to be “mandarin is for a short time while most of the time people are ordinary ones,” meaning that the situation in Vietnam will have to change. I may not have seen that day, but I am sure democracy will win. Vietnam will have a regime, a civil society, and a healthy one. It is for sure,” Mr. Menras said.
Also on the “liberation and reunification of the country” on the way of the “Winner“, the journalist Bach Hoan wrote on her Facebook that “Whoever wins, who loses, the people lose.”
She wrote: “Although the years of the country has fallen into war passed, even though everything is now historical, there are probably still too many things to look back on. The nation’s blood and wounds are healed.
I really want this day, April 30, to pass by quietly. But, this afternoon, at the supermarket, people broadcast loudly and happily to celebrate the big holiday and jubilant promotion so that customers can receive the full joy. And then, going home, on Facebook, eye contact is the status of a singer who is admired by many fans about April 30. In that status, the singer nicknamed Đen Vâu still retains the spirit of “liberating the South.”
I do not know what to celebrate or how to celebrate when late Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet also said that this is a day when the country has millions of happy but also millions of sad people.
When will they stop putting salt into the pain of the losers? Which one has lost? Who lost? Please answer that, that can only be the people. Whoever wins, who loses, the people are lost.
I do not blame singer Đen Vẩu. After all, he is the product of the communist regime’s education. However, I am sorry that he did not explore, open his mind, and expand his horizons so that knowledge can be cultivated instead of practicing entertainment. And importantly, so that he doesn’t keep spreading the “liberation day” mindset into the heads of his fans.
I am sorry but that does not mean that I personally blame them. This is a problem that must be solved at the top floor. Education must change, especially the history with the wars in which Vietnamese people were divided in two sides, one Vietnamese blood was poured out by the other. What belongs to the past, return to the past completely.
Any institution, any government must then be fair with the people and face history. That history must be the same history as what happened, whether prosperous or weak, heroic or tragic, prosperous or decline. History cannot be lines that describe the will of any party, whether a winner or a loser.
The winner must be humble so the loser can stand up,” Journalist Bach Hoan concluded.
Thu Thuy from Hochiminh city – Thoibao.de (Translated)