Why did Nghe An faction erect Lenin’s statue and cause division?

The story of Nghe An province preparing to inaugurate the Lenin statue in the center of Vinh city, in mid-April 2024, has stirred up Vietnamese public at home and abroad.

On social networks, many people reacted harshly to the idea that, around the world and in Russia – Lenin’s homeland, as well as many former communist countries in Eastern Europe, they had long destroyed and removed statues of Lenin. So, why did Nghe An province erect a statue of Lenin?

Meanwhile, Nghe An still has to ask the Central Government for rice every year to relieve local people’s hunger, so why introduce a useless and costly policy that makes the public dissatisfied?

What does that have to do with the Voice of America (VOA) news on April 6, with the headline, “Hanoi sentences a former soldier to 5 years in prison for exploding a Lenin statue”?

The news said that on April 3, the Hanoi People’s Court tried and sentenced Nguyen Chi Dung, 57 years old, to 5 years in prison, who made explosives that damaged the Lenin monument, on the charge of “disturbing public order.”

Accordingly, Dung was a former soldier in the Vietnam Army and previously worked in the field of mine clearance. VietnamNet online reported that in June 2023, due to his knowledge of manufacturing explosive devices, Dung had the intention of creating a device and detonating it at the Lenin monument area, on Chi Lang flower garden, in Ba Dinh district, Hanoi, “with the purpose of attracting public attention.”

Accordingly, in the early morning of August 9, 2023, the device manufactured and installed by Mr. Dung exploded and “made a loud noise, damaging and tearing the legs and base of the Lenin monument.” The next day, August 10, Dung was arrested by security forces.

According to Hanoi Moi newspaper, the statue of Lenin at the bombed Lenin Flower Garden, made of bronze, 5.2 meters high, was inaugurated in 1985, donated by the Soviet Government to the Vietnamese government, “to commemorate Lenin whose theory opened the way for the Vietnamese Revolution.”

Voice of America commented “up to now, the Vietnamese government has not tolerated actions that defame Communist leaders, or insult or destroy monuments of regime leaders.”

But the 5-year prison sentence for former soldier Nguyen Chi Dung, for using explosives – a violent act, to destroy the Lenin monument – is quite unusual, the sentence is light.

Notably, the trial of the case of exploding the Lenin statue came at a time when public in Vietnam was reacting harshly to Nghe An province’s upcoming inauguration of the Lenin monument. According to analysts, this may be a deliberate arrangement to stimulate public reaction to the unusual actions of the Nghe An provincial leadership – a major political force within the Party.

Commenting on the Lenin statue about to be inaugurated in Vinh, Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Chu in his status “The numbers speak about the Lenin monument in Hanoi” listed: Russian President Putin visited Vietnam 4 times, and Medvedev visited 5 times, but they never once visited the Lenin monument in Chi Lang flower garden, Hanoi. And since 1992 until now, there have been hundreds of delegations from the Russian Federation to visit Vietnam, but not a single delegation has visited the Lenin monument. Similarly, not once did the Russian Ambassador and the Russian Embassy in Hanoi visit this monument

Journalist Pham Luu Vu exposed the Nghe An provincial Party Committee’s erection of a statue of Lenin, in an article titled “Political opportunism” saying:

“100 years after Lenin died, when 2/3 of humanity classified him and Stalin as great killers. All over the world, people were tearing down his statues, but he cannot imagine that dirty political opportunism is still happening. In a remote place in Nghe An, people still erect a statue of him, weighing up to 4 and a half tons.”

Journalist Nguyen Thong wrote on his personal Facebook page in the status “Bronze statue is bewildered” bitterly spitting “The leaders of Nghe An have forgotten the saying ‘better than bronze statues on the paths,’ that’s why they are so devastated. It’s okay to build 100 statues, but it’s forbidden to spend taxpayer money on them. Sometimes, officials put in their pockets ten times the costs for erection.”


As a reminder, the “Communist” nature of the Communist Party of Vietnam is only in its name. Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once asserted “Capitalism may not divide wealth equally, but Socialism divides poverty very evenly”- something that the public affirms, leaders Vietnamese Communists today have understood very clearly./.


Tra My – Thoibao.de