My dear Kacvey,

Your students must certainly have read this online information from both VODhotnews and The Cambodia Daily. Since the relationship between the Khmer communists and the Vietnamese communists went as far back as 1946 – quite possibly your students’ great-grandparents or grandparents generations – and still continue to influence the current conduct of the Khmer Rouge and ex-Khmer Rouge that rule the land of the Khmer since 1975, the visit should not be without controversy and your students’ attention and focus should be armed with some background awareness:

  • Ho Chi Minh (original name: Nguyen Sinh Cung) was the founder and a revolutionary leader of the League for the Independence of Vietnam or the Viet Minh, who led the Viet Minh Independence movement in 1941, and was president of Vietnam democratic republic in 1945.
  • Since the end of the Vietnam War and the reunification of Vietnam, between 1976 and today, Vietnam has had 7 presidents and 2 Chairmen of the Council of State.
  • Meanwhile, in 1975 Cambodia was led by Khmer Rouge and genocidal Pol Pot.
  • In 1977, the weak strongman (original name: Bunal or Nal) left his Khmer Rouge group and fled to Vietnam for protection and reorganization similar to the mold of the Khmer Viet Minh in 1954.
  • In 1979, he returned to Cambodia with the support of Vietnamese troops and became Cambodia solo prime minister since 1985 until today.
  • Would the trip to Vietnam under its 9th president who took office in October 2018 look like to pay homage and to recognize the eternal debt the weak strongman has contracted for his power as a subordinate ruler in Cambodia?
  • Would future history confirm its past?

Here are some historical lexicons that your students might wish to have in their notebooks:

  • COOC: Central Office of Cambodia
  • Lao Dong: Vietnamese Workers’s Party (founded by Ho Chi Minh)
  • Nam Bo: Southern Department
  • COSVN: Central Office of South Vietnam
  • CCP: Cambodia Communist Party
  • Ban Can Su: Cadre Affairs Committee
  • KC: Khmer Communist
  • KCP: Khmer Communist Party
  • Son Ngoc Minh: Khmer Communist leader during pre-and-post-Independence
  • KCPC: Khmer Communist Party Committee
  • Region 203: Southeast region of Cambodia
  • Muoi Cuc (Ten chrysanthemums?): (Possibly a.k.a Nguyen Van Cuc or Nguyen Van Linh) Head of COSVN in 1954 and Chief advisor of Khmer Communists
  • CLA: Cambodia Liberation Army, formally known as Cambodia National People’s Liberation Armed Forces
  • CCKL: Central Committee for the Khmer Liberation
  • Nguyen Thanh Son: Chief of Nam Bo’s Foreign Affairs Section
  • Training Camps and Ethnic Minority Training Camps: in Hanoi area for training regroupees of Khmer Communists
  • Regroupees: Khmer Communists who were relocated to Vietnam after Independence
  • Son Thay Military Academy: where best KC were trained
  • Nguyen Ai Quoc School: Where KC senior cadres were trained
  • Khmer Viet Minh: Khmer Communists indoctrinated and trained in Vietnam
  • GVN: Government of (South) Vietnam
  • NLF: Vietcong’s National Liberation Front
  • CCFAF: Central Committee to Fight Against Fraud (the group chaired by Lon Nol to oversee shipments of rice to Vietcong
  • CCC: Cambodian Communist Central Committee
  • Red Khmer or Red K: Khmer Krâhârm, Khmer Rouge (coined circa 1962)
  • Khmerization: (1) use of Khmer language (instead of French); (2) conversion of Khmer Leu (Northeastern Khmer) into Khmer
  • B3 Front: Vietcong military command based in Rattanakiri
  • CPK: Communist Party of Kampuchea
  • Don’t spill the tea: Warning that the tea being boiled for the master is more important than the life of the oppressed.

Last but not least, let keep this definition in the back of the mind if the weak strongman doesn’t realize his bounded vassalage because of blindness or ignorance:
“The definition of a vassal was someone in feudal times who received protection and land from a lord in return for allegiance and performing military and other duties, or someone who is subordinate.
“An example of a vassal is a person who was given part of a lord’s land and who pledged himself to that lord.
“An example of a vassal is a subordinate or servant.”

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Update:
On 5 December 2018, The Cambodia Daily online published this piece: មេដឹកនាំ​ខ្មែរ​នឹង​ទៅ​ទស្សន​កិច្ច​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស​វៀតណាម​អម​ដោយ​មន្រ្តី​ កំពូលៗ​ជាច្រើន​មិន​ធ្លាប់​មាន​ពី​មុន​មក​