Ngo Dinh Diem
Ngo Dinh Diem, the first President of South Vietnam, and last successful president. Ngo Dinh Diem was born in 1901. He was born into a catholic family (Roberts 26). Ngo Dinh Diem was born and raised in the village named Pho Cam (Roberts 26). Ngo Dinh Diem studied at the School of Law and Administration in Hanoi (Roberts 26).Moved to the U.S. because of possible danger of assassination, later to work as a bus boy for a while (“Ngo” 1). The United States liked what Diem’s plans were to build Vietnam into a republic. “U.S. Vice President Lyndon Johnson praised him as the ‘Winston Churchill of Southeast Asia’ and even compared him to George Washington” (Roberts 25).
Diem traveled to France to find Bao Dai to request for help and lead South Vietnam to oppose the spread of North Vietnam’s communism towards South Vietnam. “He was appointed minister of the interior by Bao Dai” (“Ngo” 1). Ngo Dinh Diem became the leader of South Vietnam with 98.2 percent of the votes (“Ngo” 1). Dinh wanted to create a strong democracy for South Vietnam, yet what he wanted for South Vietnam did not go smoothly (“Ngo” 2). South Vietnamese communist to consolidate opposition to the Diem regime by forming a broad-based coalition of groups called the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF) (“Ngo” 2). “By the summer of 1963, Diem’s grip on power was weakening rapidly” (“Ngo” 2). Diem’s plans to ban the Buddhist flag lead to a crisis that led to the death of civilians, monks, and Ngo Dinh Diem. “Diem’s government took a hard-line approach to all potential political rivals and, in the next seven years, became increasingly oppressive, corrupt, and nepotistic” (“Ngo” 2).
Diem’s legacy that he has left for Vietnam may never be achieved or attempted because Vietnam has fallen to communism. Ngo Dinh Diem leaves a legacy of prosperity and independence that Vietnam has never again experienced since the