Vietnam. In June, the Vietnamese parliament passed a resolution to abolish the death penalty for rape, fraud, piracy, smuggling, hijacking and bribery. However, more serious drug crimes, such as drug smuggling, remained subject to the death penalty.
During the summer, the famous dissident and lawyer Le Cong Dinh was arrested, charged with “cooperating with foreign elements in order to undermine the Vietnamese government”. Dinh had written articles and analyzes on current world policy issues, which were published in foreign journals and on the Internet. According to countryaah, Dinh is an advocate for democracy and human rights, and he was a member of the underground democracy movement Viet Tan. Among many other convicted dissenters may be mentioned Vu Hung, who in October was sentenced to three years in prison for hanging up a banner over a bridge in Hanoi. On the banner, the Communist Party was urged to immediately introduce multi-party systems. The prominent Democrat, Tran Anh Kim, 60, was sentenced in December to five and a half years in prison for subversive activities aimed at harming the Communist state.
During the year, the US government announced that it would double its contribution to work on dealing with the consequences of the use of the Agent Orange plant poison during the Vietnam War, from US $ 3 million to US $ 6 million. The money would mainly be used to clean up the site of the former US military base at Na Nâng, where the poison was stored.
In September, the typhoon Ketsana pulled over central Vietnam, causing severe flooding and landslides. At least 163 people were killed in the storm, at least 600 were injured and about 350,000 had to be evacuated from their homes. When the tropical storm Mirinae hit the country in November, more than 90 people were killed in heavy flooding in the central parts of Vietnam.
The Vietnamese economy was affected during the year by the general downturn in the world economy, not least by the decline in export earnings. However, annual GDP growth continued to be good, 5.3 percent in 2009, which was, however, the worst growth figure for Vietnam in a decade.
When the Japanese surrendered, Viet Minh had a strong army and broad popular support. On August 18, 1945, Ho Chi Minh ordered a general uprising. Two weeks later, the revolutionary power was established in Hanoi and the independence of the republic was proclaimed. Ruler Bao Dao resigned and offered to act as advisor to the new regime.
In many ways, the Communist Party in Vietnam completed the same task as the Chinese Communist Party in China. But while the Chinese Communists had full control over their country in 1949, the Vietnamese liberation movement had to fight first against France and later against the United States until the final victory in 1975.
Negotiations between France – which controlled the southern part of the country – and Ho Chi Minh led in March 1946 to an agreement, after which France recognized the Viet Minh government and granted Vietnam status as a free state within the French Union. But at the same time, the real aim of the French was the re-establishment of the colonial rule, and in Hanoi the goal of the government was complete independence. In June 1946, France’s High Commissioner for Indochina, Georges-Thierry d’Angeleu, proclaimed Cochinkina for an independent republic. The French then arrived to unite Cochinkina with the northern part, proclaimed the associate state of Vietnam and appointed the deposed ruler Bao Dao as head of state. But Viet Minh did not surrender. On the contrary, it conducted an increasingly effective guerrilla fight. After 9 years of fighting, the Vietnamese finally prevailed when on the 7th.
In the same year, a peace treaty was signed in Geneva, after which the French withdrew and elections in 1956 were to be held throughout Vietnam. At the same time, the Viet Minh forces were to retreat to the north of the 17th latitude. In the south, the United States installed the Ngo Dinh Diem regime in Saigon, divided the country and violated the Geneva Agreement by failing to make elections. In 1960, organizations – Democrats, Socialists, Nationalists and Marxists – who were hostile to the Diem dictatorship joined the National Liberation Front (FNL), also known as Vietcong and led by lawyer Nguyen Huu Tho. “The 2nd Resistance” was started. This time against the changing military governments in Saigon and especially against the United States supporting, arming and advising them. Initially with advisers but later with troops reaching a total of 580. 000 in 1969. The United States threw more bombs on Vietnam than had been thrown during World War II and experimented with chemical and bacteriological weapons.