China and Vietnam, on the way to democracy and freedom? No! What a crazy idea! by Frank Rodríguez 9/2/2016

05 Sep China and Vietnam, on the way to democracy and freedom? No! What a crazy idea! by Frank Rodríguez 9/2/2016


by Frank Rodríguez

Both the “People’s” Republic of China and the “People’s” Republic of Vietnam have similar regimes which are not based at all on the opinions that their people may hold. As a matter of fact both countries are run by Communist parties, which by definition are totalitarian in the political, social and economic spheres.

There is a thesis that with time, if a Communist country takes the path of commerce with the Western industrialized countries such Communist country will be infected by capitalism, which will become the waiting room to political freedom and democracy. Of course, Gen. McArthur imposed on the Japanese a Western constitution and in Germany politics were disnazified while leaving German industrialist owning their properties.

When Nixon met Mao, shaking his bloody hand, the U.S. turned to a policy of making China a workshop for all manner of gadgets for sale in the West. In this regard this policy has been a resounding success. Today all of us benefit from a “Chinese dividend” of more than $13,000 a year. We are richer on average for this amount due to the trinkets and quality items that we buy at Wal-Mart at lower prices.

And not only at Wal-Mart, in Wish or Ali Express one can buy trinkets by mail from China and can even make returns by paying $1 fee.

A view at the streets of any large city in China shows that they are not only big cities but also great cities. For many Chinese the opening to the West has propelled them into the capitalist first world. But no so in the political sphere where the Tiananmen protest was crushed nor in the social area where today rather than allowing you to have one baby you may have two, in some cases. Forty-four years have gone by and liberty is still scarce. We are arming an enemy that is expanding its naval and air bases in the Spratley Islands, where it is building them, literally a grain of sand at a time, in the China Sea, which China intends to make literally into “The China Sea.”

And the China Sea bathes the shores of Vietnam where so many of my classmates gave their lives in defense of democracy. Today Vietnam fears China and opens its Cam Rah Bay, formerly a U.S. base, so that the U.S. Navy may return thus blocking Chinese ambitions. But in Vietnam there is no freedom of the press or association, although there are many textile factories that used to be in North Carolina. In the economic area, labor unions are not allowed and peasants lose their land without compensation. This lack of freedom has not prevented Republican Senator from Arizona, John McCain from returning to hug the Vietnamese with arms and hands which were destroyed by Cuban torturers in Hanoi, as it has also not kept the other Republican Senator from Arizona, Jeff Flake, from hugging the Communist in Havana under the thesis that dollars bring about freedom.

One need only visit the websites of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to get up to speed on the abuses conducted by these dictatorships. In both countries ethnic minorities are also persecuted, such as the Tibetans in China and the Montagnard in Vietnam.

The thesis that capitalism brings about democracy requieres many, but many years to disprove. In this fashion its inefficacy is never verified and they can continue to entertain us with this tale of two cities from the Far East.

Frank Rodriguez
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