As a 4 times visitor to Vietnam, I wholeheartedly agree with the first part of your post. Ho Chi Minh was primarily a freedom fighter for a country, which was in succession occupied by the French, the Japanese, the British, again the French and lastly by US.
He could not free the country on his own, but all the then still occupying powers were members of the NATO. He had no choice but to turn to Communism. At least neither the Soviet Union nor China had any ambition to occupy his beautiful country.
Unfortunately there is now still severe discrimination going on against those who helped the occupiers and against their OFFSPRING.
I like to think, that if Ho was still alive, he would have ended this nation splitting discrimination a long time ago, but who knows? Apart from that, small scale enterprises are thriving.
As far as the "sweat shops" are concerned, the companies with manufacturing there provide much needed jobs, albeit at low wages. But then again the prices in that country are also very low. And that is also how China started on its way to become a superpower. That is one of the incentives, why I go there this often. The other one is, that the people are friendly in such a heart felt way as I have encountered in no other of the well over 40 countries I have visited.
IF YOU ARE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT VIETNAM, GO THERE, not just to help their economy in a small way, but mainly because you will enjoy it.