While filming a documentary about Ho Chi Minh as his compatriots battled U.S. forces in the 1960s, Tran Van Tan observed how the Communist leader’s embrace of a simple lifestyle endeared him to Vietnam’s poor.
Five decades later, Tan says the Communist Party’s leaders are more concerned with enriching themselves than adhering to Ho Chi Minh’s ideals. Abolishing the one-party system would lead to “healthy competition” and narrow the wealth gap, said Tan, 65, a retired civil servant who now sells tea in downtown Hanoi.
“There are people who don’t have enough food to eat, whose children don’t have enough clothes to cover their bodies in winter,” Tan said. “There are farmers who don’t have land. They are so poor, while many in the leadership are very wealthy. These leaders are so rich that even their children, grandchildren wouldn’t be able to use it all up.” READ MORE