<email@example.com> Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 1:57 PM
Reply-To: Progressive and Critical Sociologist Network <PSN-CS@lists.wayne.edu>
Eisenhower offered the French nuclear weapons for use at Dien Bien Phu --
The French refused the offer and withdrew. At that point the U.S. took over
the war, turning what was supposed to be a temporary line for separating the
combatants into a line to be defended in blood for decades.
P.S. Amusing Footnote: At the Geneva talks, one morning Chou & John Foster
Dulles both arrived a few minutes early at the conference room. Chou offered
to shake hands; Dulles stonily refused.
The “Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities in Vietnam,” signed by France and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam at the Geneva Conference, divided Vietnam into two zones. The “Final Declaration of the Conference of Geneva,” although it recognized the independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the North and the government of Bao Dia in the South, called for elections to be held in July 1956 that would reunify Vietnam, and it called upon both the northern and southern zones to cooperate in the implementation of the elections. However, the Final Declaration was not signed by any of the participating nations, so it was not binding on any government. All parties concurred that Ho Chi Minh would win overwhelmingly such elections. From 1954 to 1959, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam repeatedly called for elections, in accordance with the Final Declaration. But Ngo Dinh Diem, who had been named Prime Minister of South Vietnam by Bao Dai in 1954, refused to negotiate the implementation of elections. Immediately after the conference, the United States announced that it would promote the development South Vietnam. By the end of the year, US officials were declaring the Diem government to be the legitimate government of Vietnam. In 1960, the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam was established, and the armed struggle was taken up as a strategy to reunify the nation, with support in the form of arms and training supplied by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the North (see “The Geneva Conference of 1954” 5/19/2014).
From 1945 to 1976, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam continually insisted on the independence and reunification of Vietnam. Reunification was a historic goal of the Vietnamese nationalist movement, in response to the French colonial division of the nation into three regions. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam persistently demonstrated willingness to negotiate with the various interested parties, and it was willing to move toward independence and unification gradually and peacefully. But it considered the ultimate attainment of independence and unification as non-negotiable, and it was prepared to turn to armed struggle to attain these goals (see “French colonialism in Vietnam” 4/25/2014; “France seeks re-conquest of Vietnam” 5/15/2014; “The Geneva Conference of 1954” 5/19/2014; “The National Liberation Front (NLF)” 5/21/2014).
García Oliveras, Julio A. 2010. Ho Chi Minh El Patriota: 60 años de lucha revolucionaria. La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales.
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