December 25

Nguyen Ai Quoc began to attend the 18th Congress of the French Socialist Party as an “Indochina delegate” and was the only colonial delegate at the Congress.

Right then, he decided to make his political career by following Lenin’s path.

In this undated file photo, President Ho Chi Minh (3rd, R) discusses plans for the Bac-Hung-Hai irrigational project in northern Vietnam when he made a working trip to the site.

Nguyen Ai Quoc was elected as an official delegate to the French Communist Party’s first Congress in Marseille, a port city in southern France, and also appointed to the Colonial Research Board.
On the occasion of the first Christmas since the country became independent, President Ho Chi Minh sent a letter to greet Christian dignitaries and faithful.
It said: “On the same day 1,945 years ago, Jesus was born. All his life he sacrificed and strived for freedom and democracy. It is nearly 2,000 years since his birth, but his compassion hasn’t faded but has spread wide …
“The spirit of sacrifice and striving has to follow his noble spirit. In Vietnamese history, this is the first Christmas our compatriots celebrate joyously in an independent country.”
In a Christmas greeting letter, he wrote, “Today, compatriots celebrate Christmas in a war atmosphere because France still tramples upon our country. However, victory will bring us a more ceremonial Christmas in the happy atmosphere of a completely united and independent country. So, let’s pray to Jesus for victory. I pray to Jesus to always bless you.” 
He visited the Bac-Hung-Hai irrigational work site and Hanoi Mechanical Factory.
He told factory officials and workers that every success springs from clear thoughts, the Party’s good leadership, and model party members and youth union members.”
At a Politburo meeting on plans for 1962, he said, “[When] we say something, we have to do it. Say less and do more. Don’t say much but do less. Major tasks should be focused on. Construction quality has to be ensured. There has to be policies but also measures, there shouldn’t be halfway measures. In building the Party, the root is its cell.”
On the anniversary to mark the day President Ho Chi Minh called upon the whole country to carry out a resistance war and the country established the Army, he said: “31 million compatriots in the two regions [South and North] – old and young, female and male -- have to be 31 million brave soldiers to fight the US to save the country and achieve victory.”

By Duong Trung Quoc* and his assistants
The author is a historian and member of the National Assembly

Translated by Minh Loan

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