Content #050

Lê Duẩn street. Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam 2015
‘Lê Duẩn (Vietnamese: [lē zʷə̂n]; 7 April 1907 – 10 July 1986) was a Vietnamese communist politician. He rose in the party hierarchy in the late 1950s and became General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (VCP) at the 3rd National Congress in 1960. He continued Hồ Chí Minh’s policy of ruling through collective leadership. From the mid-1960s (when Hồ’s health was failing) until his own death in 1986, he was the top decision-maker in Vietnam. He was born into a lower-class family in Quảng Trị Province, in the southern part of French Indochina as Lê Văn Nhuận. Little is known about his family and childhood. He first came in contact with revolutionary thoughts in the 1920s through his work as a railway clerk. Lê Duẩn was a founding member of the Indochina Communist Party (the future Communist Party of Vietnam) in 1930. He was imprisoned in 1931 and released in 1937. From 1937 to 1939, he climbed the party ladder. He was rearrested in 1939, this time for fomenting an uprising in the South. Lê Duẩn was released from jail following the successful Communist-led August Revolution of August 1945. During the First Indochina War (1946-1954), Lê Duẩn was an active revolutionary leader in South Vietnam. He headed the Central Office of South Vietnam, a Party organ, from 1951 until 1954. During the 1950s Lê Duẩn became increasingly aggressive towards South Vietnam and called for reunification through war. By the mid-to-late 1950s Lê Duẩn had become the second-most powerful policy-maker within the Party, eclipsing former party First Secretary Trường Chinh. By 1960 he was officially the second-most powerful Party member, after Party chairman Hồ. Throughout the 1960s Hồ’s health declined and Lê Duẩn assumed more of his responsibilities. On 2 September 1969 Hồ died and Lê Duẩn became the most powerful figure in the North. He became the General Secretary in 1960, officially becoming the main personality in the party after Hồ Chí Minh. After Hồ’s death, Lê Duẩn took over the leadership of North Vietnam. Throughout the Vietnam War of 1955 to 1975, Lê Duẩn took an aggressive posture, seeing attack as the key to victory. When South Vietnam was reunited with North Vietnam in 1976 and the party was restructured, Lê Duẩn became General Secretary of the Party. Lê Duẩn and his associates were overly optimistic about the future. The Second Five-Year Plan (1976–1980) failed and left the Vietnamese economy in crisis. He endorsed the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia of December 1978, aiming to overthrow the Chinese-backed Khmer Rouge regime. This had a serious impact on relations between Vietnam and China, with Vietnam responding with the deportation of ethnic Chinese and China carrying out a heavy-loss punitive expedition against Vietnam in 1979. From then on, Vietnam maintained a closer alliance with the Soviet Union and joined Comecon in 1978. Lê remained General Secretary until his death in 1986. He died in Hanoi; his successor was initially Trường Chinh. Lê Duẩn was also known as Lê Dung, and was known in public as “anh Ba” (third brother).’ Bron: Wikipedia.