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  • Nguyen Van Thieu and Nguyen Cao Ky stopped appearing at presidential election rallies during their successfully rigged 1967 campaign after the latter was heavily heckled at their only event?

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(Redirected to Nguyễn Văn Thiệu article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu

Nguyễn Văn Thiệu (Vietnamese pronunciation: [ŋʷjə̌ˀn van tʰjə̂ˀw]  ( listen); April 5, 1923 – September 29, 2001) was a general and served as president of South Vietnam (1967–75).

Contents

Biography

Born in a coastal village in Ninh Thuan Province, Thiệu was a son of a small but well-to-do landowner. As a young man, he reportedly joined the Viet Minh,[1] led by Hồ Chí Minh, whose goal was to liberate Vietnam from French colonialism. He left the movement after just one year, following the return of the French to Southern Vietnam in 1946.

Thiệu initially was enrolled in the Merchant Marine Academy but later transferred to the National Military Academy in Dalat in 1949. In 1951, upon graduation, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant from the first officer candidates' course of the "Vietnam National Army", which had been created by former Emperor Bảo Đại who had agreed to collaborate with the French as the "Chief of State" of the French-sponsored "State of Vietnam" to fight against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam led by the Viet Minh.

Thiệu was an Army lieutenant-colonel when the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) was founded and officially gained full sovereignty after the withdrawal of French forces in 1955, following the 1954 Geneva Agreement.

He married Madame Nguyen Van Thieu, the former Nguyen Thi Mai Anh Khue from My Tho, South Vietnam.

Political career

Thiệu and U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson

He served as South Vietnam's ceremonial head of state in Prime Minister Nguyễn Cao Kỳ's government from 1965–67.

On September 3, 1967, he ran successfully for the new executive presidency of South Vietnam earning 38% of the vote and held that position until a few days before the surrender of Saigon, South Vietnam's capital, became imminent in 1975.

Thiệu's regime was accused of being far more corrupt than the regime of his predecessor. Unlike Kỳ, Thiệu created a political party and greatly centralized political power in the executive branch at the expense of the elected congress. Close allies were placed in key ministerial and military posts in order to prevent threats to the president's leadership from emerging.

In 1971, Thiệu ran for re-election, but his reputation for corruption made his political opponents believe the race would be fixed, and they declined to run. As the only candidate, Thiệu was thus easily re-elected, receiving a suspiciously high 94% of the vote on an 87% turn-out.

In January 1975, North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam. Nguyễn Văn Thiệu notified President Ford that he was of the opinion that North Vietnam had violated the 1973 Paris Peace Accords and asked for $300 million of aid, but the U.S. Congress would not release the funds.

The North called this the "Ho Chi Minh Campaign." All resistance crumbled. Conditions in South Vietnam deteriorated. The ARVN 18th Division "The Supermen" tried to hold Xuan Loc, the last line of defence before Saigon. Even according to the Communists, these men fought very well, but it was not enough.

Thiệu resigned as President in a tearful televised announcement on 21 April in which he denounced the United States for failing to come to the aid of South Vietnam as promised by President Nixon.[2] Thiệu stated, "The United States did not keep its word. Is an American's word reliable these days?" ...and, "The United States did not keep its promise to help us fight for freedom and it was in the same fight that the United States lost 50,000 of its young men."[3]

On 25 April 1975 a USAF C-118 transport left Tan Son Nhut carrying President Thiệu and his family to exile in Taiwan[4]. Following Thiệu's resignation power passed to his Vice President, Trần Văn Hương.

Life in exile

President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu

Thiệu fled to Taiwan, later settling in Surrey, England. Finally he took up residence in Foxborough, Massachusetts, where he died in 2001. He was cremated and buried in Boston, Massachusetts.[5]

Quotes

  • "Don't listen to what the Communists say, but look at what they do."
  • "But the United States did not keep its word. Is an American's word reliable these days?"[3]
  • "The United States did not keep its promise to help us fight for freedom and it was in the same fight that the United States lost 50,000 of its young men." [3]
  • "Losing a President Thiệu, the military still has a three-star General Thiệu. The people still have a soldier, Nguyễn Văn Thiệu. I pledge to fight side by side with my brothers, the soldiers."
  • "You ran away and left us to do the job that you could not do."[6]
  • "To live without freedom is to have already died."

References

  1. ^ Davifo.dk
  2. ^ Browne, Malcolm W. "10-Year Rule Ends." New York Times. April 22, 1975.
  3. ^ a b c NEWS.BBC.co.uk] BBC on this Day | 21 | 1975: Vietnam's President Thieu resigns.
  4. ^ Tobin, Thomas (1978). USAF Southeast Asia Monograph Series Volume IV Monograph 6: Last Flight from Saigon. US Government Printing Office. p. 67. ISBN 978-1410205711. 
  5. ^ Vietquoc.com, Former President Nguyen van Thieu died
  6. ^ Time.com, "Saigon" by George J. Church, Time Magazine, April 24, 1995.

External links

Preceded by
Phan Khắc Sửu
President of the Republic of Vietnam
1965–1975
Succeeded by
Trần Văn Hương
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