“Voices from the South: Testimony from the Second Republic of Vietnam” June 11 & 12th, 2012
Cornell University – Department of Asian Studies
Session: Government and Civil Society
Experience in democracy building with the Opposition: Bloc Dan Toc Xa Hoi – DTXH (People's Socialist Bloc - PSB)
Presented by Tran Van Son (1)
Former Representative of the Opposition
in the Lower House of the Republic of Vietnam 1971-1975
From the constitution 1967 to
the Second Congress 1971-1975
In 1971, I was serving the Navy at the rank of Lt. Commmander and teaching at the Vietnamese Naval Academy. I was also in charge of its training program.
I decided to run for office as a Representative in the lower House of Representatives representing the coastal city of Nha Trang.
I had chosen the opposition to balance the excess of president Thieu government in his tendency of dictatorship and the chaos in the Congress during the period of 1967-1971.
Upon the promulgation of the Constitution for the Second Republic on March 18, 1967, the election of a President and a Congress with both Houses was set for late 1967. General Nguyen Van Thieu and Air Marshall Nguyen Cao Ky under the pressure of a group of generals – probably with the suggestion of the US Embassy in Saigon - slated to run in one ticket: Thieu for president and Ky for vice president. Ky accepted the # 2 position after securing a verbal concession from Thieu that he would have a free hand to run the Congress. Ky’ s intention was to use the Congress as a leverage for power in the future.
After the elections Thieu out-maneuvered Ky and cut his wings drastically. Approaching the second term (1971-1975) Thiệu had effectively controlled the Executive Branch as well as the Congress.
People’s Socialist Bloc (Dan Toc Xa Hoi – DTXH)
Upon being elected to the Congress at the end of 1971for a four-year term I joined the opposition, the People's Socialist Bloc - PSB (Khối Dân Tộc Xã Hội). The PSB Bloc was composed of two political groups: Dan Toc for “people” and Xa Hoi for “socialism”.
The Xa Hoi Bloc was born during the term 1967-1971 mostly by members of Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang –VNQDD (Vietnam Nationalist Party- VNP) led by Representative Phan Thiep and some independent members with Buddhist leaning from the provinces in the center of Vietnam, and prominent members like doctor Ho Văn Minh and Ho Ngoc Nhuan elected in Saigon area. Xa Hoi Bloc opposed the military and dictatorial nature of the government of president Thieu .
The Dan Toc Bloc was composed of Representatives supported by An Quang Buddhist Church. The Buddhist Church did not boycott the election of the Second Congress (1971-1975) and got 19 people elected mostly from the center of Vietnam. I was one of them. The prominent members were Rep. Le Dinh Duyen, Ly Truong Tran …
After the election, the two blocs coalesced and formed the PSB Bloc of 29 Representatives. The core of the PSB Bloc counted 19 Buddhist representatives. Others included those from Xa Hoi Bloc and people supporting general (Big) Minh elected from Saigon – Gia Đinh area. The prominent figures were Ho Ngoc Nhuan, Ho Van Minh, Nguyen Huu Chung, Ly Quy Chung … and three influential independent representatives :Tran Van Tuyen elected in Saigon, Dinh Xuan Dung from Phan Thiet and Tran Cao De from Vung Tau.
At first the Buddhist Church considered Rep. Le Dinh Duyen to be the leader of PSB. The Church won the votes. Duyen was the son of Dr. Le Dinh Tham, the prominent Buddhist living in Hue, and who had rejuvenated Buddhism in the decade of 1930 and made the ancient capital of Hue a bastion of Buddhism. Thich Tri Quang, Thich Thien Minh, and most of the Buddhist leadership were the product of Dr. Tham’s religious innovation.
But after considering the pro and con, the Buddhist leadership decided to support Mr. Tran Van Tuyen as leader of PSB, in fact the leader of opposition. Mr. Tuyen was born in 1913 in the Tuyen Quang province (therefrom his name: Tuyen) some 80 miles North West of Hanoi. He joined the VNP at the age of 16, got his law degree at the University of Hanoi and was assigned District Chief in Tuyen Quang. Thereafter he came back to Hanoi to teach at the private school of Thang Long and became an acquaintance of Vo Nguyen Giap who happened to be teaching history there . Curiously, both followed different paths, ending up adversaries to each other for nearly half a century until 1975. Tuyen was one among the signatories of Caravelle Manifesto issued late April 1960 (2) calling on president Ngo Dinh Diem to reform, and was imprisoned by Diem for doing this. After Diem was overthrown he became the deputy prime minister under the government of Dr. Phan Huy Quat for 4 months (February – June 1965). When Quat could not deal with the situation he handed back the power to the generals. He went back practicing law and was a lawyer for the High Court of Saigon. He was eventually elected to the prestigious position of Chairman of Lawyers Association of South Vietnam. From there he ran for a seat in the House representing Districts 1 & 3 of Saigon – Gia Định.
The choice of Mr. Tran Van Tuyen to lead the opposition proved to be a wise decision on the part of the Buddhist leadership. Had it not for Mr. Tuyen, the PSB Bloc would not have survived four tumultuous years of upheavals as a viable congressional opposition. PSB had facing them three antagonist forces: (1) President Thieu, who did not recognize political opposition. He labeled opposition as pro-communist rebels he did not want to deal with. (2) The communists, working hard to infiltrate and to rally the opposition to their camp, and (3) The intention of the US to end the war through the negotiations in Paris at any cost .
During Thieu’s tenure with Vice president Nguyen Cao Ky, both slept in the same bed dreaming in different ways. Thieu efficiently neutralized his ambitious vice president, and went on the second term with teacher Tran Van Huong as Vice president, Huong was a revered high school teacher with many influential followers from the South called Lien Truong (Unified Schools Group). At first the US Embassy in Saigon arranged to have either Duong Van (Big) Minh or Vice president Nguyen Cao Ky to run as Thieu competitors. That failed to materialize and Thieu ran unopposed. This dwarfed his presidency. Nonetheless with the support of the US he became more and more dictatorial. That made the gap between Thieu and the opposition widening.
The PBS Bloc and the Paris Agreement
As for the Paris negotiations, the PSB Bloc was impatient to see an agreement with the North through a political solution based on the principle of self-determination for the people living in the South .
However, for Mr. Tran Van Tuyen the situation was not so simple. He was suspicious of Nixon/Kissinger intention. In 1972, former governor Ronald Reagan (later: US president : 1980-1988) in a business trip to Saigon came to see him to pay back a visit Mr. Tuyen made to him at Sacramento in 1965 (3). Mr. Tuyen later reported to the PSB Bloc that governor Reagan talked about the war and asked him how to end the war.
Our feelings were that the US would reach an agreement not favorable for South Vietnam. We, the oppostition had supported the position of president Thieu opposing the signing of The Paris Peace Accords that would not require the North Vietnam troops to withdraw in parallel with the withdrawal of American and allied forces out of South Vietnam.
However, Thieu yielded to US pressure and to the promises in personal letters from President Nixon to respond by forces if the communists violated the agreement. The Accords formally called the “Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam” were signed on Jan 27, 1973 .
On the eve of the lunar new year, February 2, 1973 (a week after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords), Mr. Tran Van Tuyen led the PSB Bloc for a hunger strike in front of the National Assembly to denounce Thieu and the US for signing the Accords. Lawyer Tuyen warned about the impending collapse of South Vietnam.
Thereafter he invested his effort in persuading the two sides to enforce the Agreement. According to Mr. Tran Van Tuyen, in this political denouement, that was the only way to save South Vietnam from the grips of Communists. We supported the formation of the Third Force, a segment of the National Council of Reconciliation and Concord of three equal segments (Hội Đồng Hòa Hợp Hòa Giải Dân Tộc) responsible to organize free and democratic elections of the institutions agreed upon through consultations between the two South Vietnamese parties.
Unfortunately, both sides went on to deliberately violate the terms of the Accords, the war continued and the formation of the National Council of Reconciliation and Concord could not be materialized.
Mr. Tran Van Tuyen, from the days dating back to the signing of the Geneva Accords in 1954 (4) dividing Vietnam into two parts, had worked hard to preserve a free South Vietnam. His experience with the communists taught him that Hanoi will not rest until they took over the whole Vietnam. He knew the only way to achieve his dream was to build a strong South Vietnam, politically as well as economically. He persuaded the Buddhists that if South Korea can survive, why South Vietnam will not, especially South Vietnam received more aids from the US than South Korea did.
But he knew there were two important differences. The first, was that the US got a plan to leave South Vietnam. Secondly South Vietnam did not have the leadership South Korea enjoyed under general Park Chung Hee. President Thieu, and his generals, most of them products of French colonial regime were not up to the job.
At this juncture, the three components of the opposition had different programs: (1) the Buddhists opposed Thieu at any cost (2) The VNP tried to rally the people around their party (3) The Minh factions worked for a solution to bring him back to power. However, Mr. Tran Van Tuyen had developed a subtle leadership to keep them stick together in one bloc until the end. He went on to rally with a component of the Roman Catholic Church led by Reverend Tran Huu Thanh to put pressure on Thieu to reform by fighting the corruption and easing up the Press Law. To no avail!
In his mind Mr. Tuyen knew the situation was hopeless. But the instinct of survival pushed him to use his international contacts to probe out for a solution. After deep analysis he got to believe that probably general Minh to replace Thieu was a solution to end the war peacefully, and considering the geopolitics in Asia and Western Pacific there was a chance that South Vietnam may survive. Plenty of historical documents showed that China would not be happy to see a strong and unified Vietnam. Their concern of the presence of US troops in the south of its border was abating. All US soldiers had withdrawn from South Vietnam .
The PSB Bloc and the general Duong (Big) Minh
With this in mind, toward the last two years in the life of South Vietnam, Tuyen intended to place the full weight of the opposition behind general Minh.
Unfortunately, this proved erroneous. For the Americans, after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, the strategy was to withdraw safely from South Vietnam without facing the retribution of the South Vietnamese generals. The Minh solution may be a complicity of convenience between Hanoi and the US Embassy in Saigon.
This policy of supporting Minh explained the existence of a message in February 1975 originating from Saigon wired to the US Congress asking the US Congress not to appropriate US$300 millions (5) for military aid to South Vietnam. Rumors went that the PSB Bloc was the author of the message. The truth was that, by February President Ford pressed the Congress to appropriate the funds. And the US Congress decided to send a fact-finding group to Saigon to assess the situation, among them Rep. Bella Abzug and Paul McCloskey, the two most vocal oppositions to the war. Upon arrival to Saigon Rep. Abzug contacted the influential Congressman Ho Ngoc Nhuan, a sympathizer of the National Liberation Front (NLF) and a supporter of general Minh and told him that the US Congress won’t appropriate the fund in any case. Taking this as an occasion to pressure Thieu to compromise with general Minh, Nhuan worked out a message, discuss summarily about the content at a meeting with Minh supporters at Minh’s residence and persuaded a handful of Representatives in the PSB Bloc to sign it, and wired it to the US Congress.
Looking back, an additional aid of US$300 million worth of weapons at that late time would not have saved South Vietnam anyway, except lengthening the war and getting more Vietnamese on both sides killed. But morally, it would be better if such an message had not been sent.
President Thieu’s consolidation of power
after the Communist attacks in 1972
In 1972 there was a legislation and in early 1974 a Constitution amendment that the opposition tried to prevent without success.
In the summer of 1972 the North Vietnamese attacked across the 17th parallel dividing North and South taking part of Quang Tri province and threatening Hue. Thieu forced the Congress to delegate to him the privilege to govern by decrees (Luat Uy Quyen – Power Delegation Law). His intention was to neutralize the opposition in his attempt to deal with the Communists as he saw fit.
In 1974 Thieu tried to amend the Constitution permitting him to run for a third term (1975-1979). His logic was “one doesn’t change horse while crossing the river” (không ai thay ngựa giữa dòng), that means the continuation of Thieu as President after his second term expired (and the last according to the 1967 Constitution) was a requirement of the situation. The attacks of the Communists intensified all over the country while the Americans cut aids to below the level “one-to-one replacement” as provided by the Paris Peace Accords.
The expected domestic and international uproar of accusations of Thieu’s thirst of power did not materialize, shadowed by the attacks of the Chinese on the Paracels in January 1974. The Chinese invasion trumped the news of the Constitution amendment.
The PBS Bloc and
Chinese capture of Hoang Sa islands
The circumstances of the invasion of China to seize the group of Paracels from South Vietnam did not come out clear until today. The group of islands located at about 230 miles (379 kilometers) east of Da Nang and garrisoned by a small unit of South Vietnam army. The Congress was not informed by president Thieu and knew nothing about what happened out there until January 19, 1974, when the international media broke the news that a Chinese naval unit had defeated a task force of the South Vietnamese Navy defending the Paracels and took over the islands. The order to engage the Chinese invaders was given personally by president Thieu. This might be his first major military decision without a consultation with the US Embassy (6). The opposition had requested a congressional hearing about the loss of the Paracels. The speaker of the House turned a deaf ear to the request.
The event was embarrassing because the US 7th fleet present nearby did not answer the calls for help from the Vietnamese Naval Headquarters to assist those crewmen from a sinking ship drifting on the open sea. It seemed the United States knew the Chinese plan to take over the Paracels, and might think, strategically, this was not a bad idea after all. Hanoi would take over the South anyway, and it was better that the Paracels, the entrance to the South China sea from the north was in the hands of Chinese than in the hands of the Russians, an ally of Hanoi (7)
Violation of the Constitution
We in the oppostition encountered another embarrassing situation when on April 27, 1975 a joint session of the House and the Senate considered a resolution permitting president Tran Van Huong to transfer the presidency to general Minh. The resolution was in itself a violation of the Constitution, but the situation dictated that we violated the Constitution for peace (8). The Communists with their five crack divisions with tanks and artillery surrounding the capital dropped the news that Minh was the only person they would talk to, to form a coalition government to end the war peacefully. It turned out this was a dupe engineered by French Ambassador Merillon with lip services from the media and the US Embassy. Ambassador Martin had a mission in hands, that was to evacuate the remnants of the American mission in Saigon safely and with dignity. He carried out his mission almost to perfection, if not for a photo of a Marine helicopter leaving the roof of a building in Saigon - mistaken by the media as the top of the US Embassy - in haste.
Contribution of the PSB Bloc to the building of democracy
First I will cover the transformative period of the first Congress from 1967 to 1971.
In fact, there was no real opposition during the first Congress of 1967-1971, although there was the Xa Hoi Bloc led by Rep. Phan Thiep and the prominent figure of Rep. Tran Ngoc Chau. Chau was an independent representative from Kien Hoa province where he was the most successful head of province two times, one under president Ngo Dinh Diem, and one after Diem. Chau was feuding with American advisors over the running of the Pacification Program and ran for a seat at the Congress. He thought that the new forum might help him influence the politics of South Vietnam. His political stand (not for Thieu, not for Ky) helped getting him elected General secretary of the Congress under Rep. Nguyen Ba Luong, one of Ky’s.
Chau, although a friend of president Thieu, worked closely with the US Embassy, giving rise to the perception that he was challenging Thieu’s power. His big mistake was to contact his brother Tran Ngoc Hien, a high ranking spy from Hanoi without reporting to Thieu, although he reported it to the Americans as a cover for his action. The contact led nowhere because the American Embassy refused to corroborate.
Thieu went on arresting Chau and tried him before a military court for high treason with a lukewarm nod from the US Embassy. By the time, Thieu had ousted most of Ky’s people in the armed forces, in the civil administration and neutralized all his followers in the Congress .
For the second Congress of 1971-1975 president Thieu got all his backers in Congress to obtain a majority. Those elected in the provinces of the center of Vietnam from Quang Tri to Phu Yen provinces and the capital of Saigon (considered “free play grounds”) were mostly opposed to Thieu or were independents . A facade of free elections was achieved . The opposition was then composed of representatives supported by the Buddhist Church and VNP and people supporting general Minh with some sympathisers to the (communist) National Liberation Front.
This arrangement made the second Congress less chaotic, and ironically had the appearance of a working democracy. The opposition led by PSB Bloc functioned as a genuine opposition . We could express freely our opinion before the general assembly on almost all subjects, criticizing president Thieu, his generals and his administration at will. But we didn’t have the votes. The votes were for Thieu’s agenda. Thieu was very suspicious of the opposition which he thought irrelevant. He believed that the opposition was heavily infiltrated by pro-communist and anti-war elements, and had no strong leadership. He thought Tuyen was at best a mediator rather than a leader.
The Americans and the opposition
The voices of the opposition were then never heard. This handicapped the contribution of the opposition to the building of democracy. At this juncture, The US Embassy had a strong influence on all aspects of South Vietnam society, militarily as well as economically. Unfortunately, the US did not pay attention to the opposition and did not have a concrete plan to help the opposition to build a base for democracy in Vietnam. The US Embassy was too occupied with the preparation to end the war, and the most they could do was to keep afloat an opposition to appease the accusations of Thieu dictatorship.
The US Embassy maintained an apparent contact with the opposition through Mr. Tuyen. He was on the list of guests to most social functions at the Embassy and an interlocutor with most of the high ranking officials of the Embassy. At weekly meetings of the Bloc, he rarely reported about his conversations with the Embassy, probably there were not much worth mentioning. It seemed the US Embassy had kept contact with Tuyen, but there was not a working relationship for the benefit of the country .
Cause of failure: No tradition of democracy
The most damaging factor in the failure of the opposition was that its members as well as their opponents (in Thieu camp) did not have the tradition and the experience of a working democracy. Up to that time Vietnam had never been a democratic country. During the war against French domination led by the Communists (1946-1954) Vietnam with Bao Dai as the head of the government with a French general commissioner at the top did not know the essence of democracy. Under Ngo Dinh Diem, South Vietnam had a democratic constitution but it was not functional. Opposition was repressed and no voices antagonist to Diem could be heard at Congress. The Constitution of 1967 was more democratic but just “for the form”.
Looking back it seems to me that Mr. Tran Van Tuyen had all the background information to know that the situation in South Vietnam was hopeless. The country had no viable economy. The armed forces of nearly a million troops with Army, Air Force, Navy were equipped and paid by the US . Through the CIA, the hands of the US Embassy in Saigon reached into all branches of the government, the most evident was the Army, the least was Congress. At least 20 congressmen in two houses reported to the CIA (9). And the agenda of the US was to reach an agreement at any price with Hanoi in Paris to take back the prisoners and withdraw safely.
Anyway, Tuyen had succeeded to prevent the PSB Bloc from breaking up by antagonist politics, and tried his best to build a base of democracy for Vietnam. He knew that the war in Vietnam was not a civil war, just a proxy war between the US and the China-Soviet alliance. As a rule, such a war could be arranged by the superpowers involved . And with luck South Vietnam might be saved.
his experience fighting the Communist Mr. Tran Van Tuyen knew that there was no
alternative for democracy. And he committed his whole life to this. This
explained why he went to
the every extra mile to hold a divided
opposition into one viable opposition. And why he had opposed Diem, opposed
Thieu and at the end became suspicious of American policy.
during our weekly meetings, Mr. Tran Van
Tuyen talked casually about his dream of an “International Alliance For
Democracy”. He said that during his many official visits to Africa when he was
deputy prime minister under Dr. Phan Huy Quat
(for 4 months from February to June 1965) he had raised the idea of an International Alliance For Democracy
with the leaders of Northern Africa like
colonel Houari Boumedienne then
leader of the Revolutionary Council of Algeria, president Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia, and president Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt. All of them
promised him to work on that. Unfortunately, the government of Phan Huy Quat
was short-lived and law Mr. Tuyen went back to practicing law.
The fate of Mr. Tran Van Tuyen as an anti-communist veteran
Toward the end Mr. Tran Van Tuyen maintained his dignity as a patriot, a committed politician, and a leader. He decided not to leave the country.
On the eve of the Communists’ entrance to Saigon , Joe Bennett, a political counselor at the Embassy called Tuyen to offer him a lift out of the country, and he refused. It was said that, after the collapse of South Vietnam he also declined the help offered by general Vo Nguyen Giap. Giap had sent a field officer to let him know that he may arrange with the military governor of Saigon not to send him to the concentration camp; again Tuyen refused. He wanted to share the fate with his compatriots. This story was confirmed by lawyer Tran Tu Huyen, his son, now practicing law in Bay Area, California, and by the eyewitness of Rep. Ly Truong Tran, the secretary general of the PSB, his closest assistant.
Thereafter he was sent to Long Thanh concentration camp not far from Saigon together with 3,000 other high ranking officials from the government of South Vietnam. After “nine lectures” given by cadres, the victors forced the prisoners to write self-biography emphasizing on self-accusation as “traitor of the people”.
Instead, Mr. Tuyen wrote in his submission: “I did not commit any crime against the people. If you want you may label me as a person who had opposed communism, imperialism and dictatorship.” By fall 1976 Tuyen was transferred to a concentration in Ha Tay in North Vietnam. On October 27, he died in suspicious circumstances. His fate might have been decided by the victors after his rebuke in Long Thanh.
Looking back, Mr. Tuyen had devoted his whole life to the country, although he failed to save South Vietnam from the Communists as his lifelong purpose.
Legacy of intervention
The long night of April 29, 1975 closed a chapter of American intervention for nation building in South East Asia. It failed miserably. The Americans, the South Vietnamese, the Congress shared the blame.
I think the US decision to come to help South Vietnam to build a democratic country to counter the expansion of communism was a sound strategic decision. Only to fail due to bad conduct of the war militarily as well as politically.
Defense Minister Robert McNamara’s conduct of the war by remote control and body counts was the wrong way of fighting a guerrilla war. In addition to that, the US had no clear military strategy because of its uncertainty about the intention of China. The US was not willing to face China in another land war in Asia.
After the US helped to overthrow Ngo Dinh Diem and committed troops to Vietnam, the US thought the American military muscle would break the will of Hanoi and restore peace in Vietnam. Unfortunately the politicians in Washington bound the hands of their generals, refusing to deploy troops at the Vietnamese-Laotian border and expand into Laos up to the Mekong river on the border of Thailand to prevent Hanoi from infiltrating men and materials to the South. Prime minister Nguyen Cao Ky had proposed such a plan at the meeting with president Johnson in Guam on 20-21 March 1967 (10). If the plan had been adopted, South Vietnam might have had a chance to be pacified and democracy might start blossoming. Respecting the neutralization of Laos signed under Kennedy administration was a legacy leading to this fatal inaction.
Another reason of failure, and maybe the most important, was a local one. South Vietnam had no tradition of democracy, with weak non-government organizations and unqualified leaders. The anti-communist program of the opposition based on the replacement of Thieu was misleading, it weakened Thieu government instead of rallying the anti-communist components in the society into one bloc. On the other hand, the communists were very successful in their infiltration into almost all institutions of South Vietnam: Presidential office (with Vu Ngoc Nha, Huynh Van Trong), Press (with Pham Ngoc An), Military (with Pham Ngoc Thao), the Congress (with Ho Ngoc Nhuan, Ly Quy Chung …)
Lessons from the defunct Republic of Vietnam were to be learned by Vietnamese and Americans, especially now that the US is returning to Western Pacific.
For the Vietnamese: They may need help from the world community in this globalization of world affairs, but first and foremost they must be able to stand on their own feet. The people need to have a tradition of democracy through education and be led by qualified leaders committed to the welfare of their country. A dictatorship under any disguise will not work.
For the Americans, hundreds of books about its failure in Vietnam have been written, like “Decent Interval” of Frank Snepp, “Why Vietnam Matters” of Rufus Phillips, “No More Vietnams” of Richard Nixon, just to mention some. I need not to add any comments.
Thank you very much./.
June 12, 2012
University of Cornell
Ithaca, New York
(1) For this presentation I have talked to those personalities to verify the facts:
1. Rep. Tran Ngoc Chau (Woodland Hills, California)
2. Lawyer Tran Tu Huyen (Sanfrancisco, California) son of Lawyer Tran Van Tuyen
3. Rep. Ho Ngoc Nhuan (Saigon, Vietnam)
4. Rep. Phan Thiep (San Jose, California)
5. Rep. Ly Truong Tran (Garden Grove, California)
6. Rep. Dinh Xuan Dung (San jose, California)
7. Rep. Tran Cao De (Westminster, California)
8. Nguyen Van Ngan, President Thieu’s advisor (Lakewood, California)
(2) Signatories of the Caravelle Manfesto:
VAN VAN, Diploma of Higher Commercial Studies, former Minister of Economy and
2. PHAN KHAC SUU, Agricultural Engineer, former Minister of Agriculture, former Minister of Labor
3. TRAN VAN HUONG, Professor of Secondary Education, former Prefect of Saigon-Cholon
4. NGUYEN, LUU VIEN, M.D., former Professor at the Medical School, former High Commissioner of Refugees
5. HUYNH-KIM HUU, M.D., former Minister of Public Health
6. PHAN HUY QUAT, M.D., former Minister of National Education, former Minister of Defense
7. TRAN VAN LY, former Governor of Central Viet-Nam
8. NGUYEN TIEN HY, M.D.
9. TRAN VAN DO, M.D., former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of Vietnamese Delegation to the 1954 Geneva Conference
10. LE NGOC CHAN, Attorney at Law, former Secretary of State for National Defense
11. LE QUANG LUAT, Attorney at Law, former Government Delegate for North Viet-Nam, former Minister of Information and Propaganda
12. LUONG TRONG TUONG, Public Works Engineer, former Secretary of State for National Economy
13. NGUYEN TANG NGUYEN, M.D., former Minister of Labor and Youth
14. PHAM HUU CHUONG, M.D., former Minister of Public Health and Social Action
15. TRAN VAN TUYEN, Attorney at Law, former Secretary of State for Information and Propaganda
16. TA CHUONG PHUNG, former Provincial Governor for Binh-Dinh
17. TRAN LE CHAT, Laureate of the Triennial Mandarin Competition of 1903
18. HO VAN VUI, Reverend, former Parish Priest of Saigon, at present Parish Priest of Tha-La, Province of Tay-Ninh
(3) At the time Reagan was the governor of California and Tuyen was deputy prime minister of Dr. Phan Huy Quat on a world tour to seek international support for South Vietnam
(4) In which he was a member of nationalist negotiating team.
(5) 1973: 2.8 billion – 1974: 1 billion – 1975: 300 million
Source: The Vietnam War Day by Day, Editor: Jon S. Bowman – page 212
(6) The second time happened more than a year later in March 1975 when he decided to vacate the highland that caused the collapse of South Vietnam 47 days later.
(7) In “Years of Upheaval” by Henry Kissinger, page 684 he wrote, regarding his visit to Beijing in late 1973: “Following the now well-established practice the heart of the visit was a detailed review of the international situation by Zhou and me, together with our senior associates... Our ties were cemented not by formal agreements but by a common assessment of the international situation... Most of our conversations, as usual, traced our shared analysis of the world situation, though for equally obvious reason of Soviet sensitivities we could not announce that fact either”
This may reveal the US intention to look other way if the Chinese took possession of the Paracels.
(8) Before the vote Rep. Tran Cao De reminded Tuyen that the vote was a violation of the Constitution. Mr. Tuyen replied: “we are sacrificing the Constitution to save the country”.
(9) “CIA and the Generals” CIA secret document approved for release on 19 February 2009.
(10) Vietnam War: Day by Day by John S. Bowman, page 102