Ho Chi Minh Facts

Ho Chi Minh Facts
Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese communist politician and leader who served as the prime minister of North Vietnam from 1945 to 1955 and president from 1945 until his death in 1969. It is believed that he led resistance groups against the Japanese occupation during World War II, but it was after the war when he became a world figure. He received support from both the Soviet Union and communist China, as he became a more open communist in the years after World War II. He led the Viet Minh movement in Vietnam and in the Third World and in communist countries he became a symbol of the fight against the West. It is believed that Ho Chi Minh was born on May 19, 1890 in the village of Hoan Tru, Indochina, although the year of his birth varies widely. He was born Nguyen Sinh Cung to Hoang Thi Loan, his mother, and his father Nguyen Sinh Sac. He received a formal French education since Indochina was a French colony and used that education to travel to many different countries, including France, the United States, and Russia.
Interesting Ho Chi Minh Facts:
Ho often used aliases when he traveled internationally.
He claimed to have worked and lived in the United States in the teens.
Ho Chi Minh was known for making many exaggerated claims relating to his early activism and travels.
While living in France in the 1920s, he became involved in communist-Marxist thought. He also began to meld those Marxist ideas with Vietnamese nationalism.
During World War II, Ho Chi Minh worked extensively with the American OSS, which was the precursor to the CIA, giving them intelligence of Japanese movements and positions.
Perhaps learning from the Russian communists, Minh was very ruthless in his rise to power, not hesitating to kill all rivals, even his closest friends.
As the Viet Minh were fighting against the French in the Indochina War, the Soviet Union recognized the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh as its leader.
After the French left Indochina in 1954, Vietnam was divided into a communist north led by Minh and a democratic-capitalist south.
As Ho Chi Minh ruthlessly suppressed all dissent in North Vietnam, he laid the plans to support the communist Viet Cong rebels in the south. The plan included getting financial and geo-political support from the Soviet Union and China, and bolstering communist regimes in neighboring Laos and Cambodia. The North Vietnamese Army then developed a network of roads through Laos and Cambodia that became known as the "Ho Chi Minh" trail.
Before returning to Vietnam from Europe in 1941, he changed his name to Ho Chi Minh. Following east Asian naming protocol, "Ho" was a common family name in Vietnam, like "Smith" or "Jones" in English speaking countries. The "Minh" part of his name was the Vietnamese word for "bright," which was also the name of the Vietnamese independence movement, Viet Minh.
Ho Chi Minh died of heart failure on September 2, 1969 at his Hanoi home. He was seventy-nine.
After the communists took control of South Vietnam, they changed the name of Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City.

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