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Triem Dang

I've never forgotten when the Second Republic of South Vietnam collapsed on April 30, 1975. Almost all officers who served in the South Army Forces to resist the North Communist regime and anyone who collaborated with the South Vietnam government were put in re-education camps (jails) for over thirteen years. After that, the Vietnam Communist government used force to kick all former officers' families who lived in the cities out of their homes. A lot of other people were also expelled from the cities and kept in the new economic zones so the Communists could extort money. They confiscated properties such as houses, factories, stores, cars, and jewelry from people.

 Living under the dictatorial regime of the Communists, all populations were frightened. Therefore, over a million people went overseas. Over one hundred thousand people including old men, men, women, boys, girls, and babies were killed in blood by Thailand's pirates or drowned in the deep seas when they tried to leave.

 My compatriots who are still living in Vietnam haven't had enough food. Many people in the countryside have been mixing food to eat like manioc and corn instead of rice. Why has this happened? It has happened because the Communist government has been exporting rice to Russia and China to pay back the money they borrowed to execute the 30 Years War from 1945-1975.

 Right now, there aren't any freedoms in my country such as freedoms of speech, belief, residence, and politics. Many religious dignitaries such as Christians, Buddhists, and Taoists have been arrested and kept in confinement without a verdict. And most newspapers in both Hanoi and Saigon now belong to the Communist party.

 I'm very lucky to have escaped from the Vietnamese Communist government and be living happily in the United States, one of the most liberal and democratic countries in the world. I'd like to ask the American people and the United States government to pressure the Socialist Republic of Vietnam that they have to:

 a) Pay back whatever they appropriated brasenly from the people.

 b) Stop exhorting properties and money of Vietnamese compatriots who leave for foreign countries under the Humanitarian Program (H.O.) or Orderly Departure Program (C.O.D.P.)

 c) Release immediately and without any conditions all regions dignitaries and political prisoners.

 d) Promulgate immediately the right of speech, belief, residence, and politics.

 e) Create immediately a general election under the supervisory committee of the United Nations that the Vietnamese can choose whatever regime they like.