From Ho Chi Minh’s fictional Diary:

24 August 1911
Dakar, Africa

We docked in Dakar during the night, and at dawn the longshoremen were set to work on cargo - unloading 60-kilogram sacks of rice and loading sacks of ground wheat, hour after hour from dawn to dusk. Two of the crew collapsed. Beating them was worse than useless - they couldn’t get up. Receiving even worse treatment were the Negroes who were offloading the ground nuts from bullock carts. They were constantly whipped for slowness, but some of them, prisoners I suppose, had to do this wearing iron links around their ankles connecting them man to man - nothing less than torture when having to march with these heavy bags. One who collapsed was beaten unconscious with a rifle butt. Then his leg was cut off with a hatchet to release his body from the gang. Then he was thrown into the sea. This crime was committed by a Negro guard under French supervision. Colonialism is so perverse it can turn people against their own countrymen.

Ho had become increasingly aware that the chance of staging any effective resistance to the French, never mind the overthrow of their control, was too remote to be seriously attempted without considerable prior organization and recruitment. Having met several Frenchmen who were politically “leftist,” he learned that in Paris there existed a strong element favorable to the Vietnamese aspirations to freedom, and these contacts might help him.

Not having the cash for a ticket, he signed on in the galley of a cargo vessel sailing to France, with considerable ports of call en route. When the ship sailed out into the Eastern Sea (which some call the South China Sea), Ho no doubt realized it would be several years before he would see his native land again. He could scarcely have expected it would be thirty years.
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