Nguyễn Văn Thiệu

president of South Vietnam from 1965–75

Nguyễn Văn Thiệu (5 April 192329 September 2001) was a Vietnamese military officer and politician who was the president of South Vietnam from 1967 to 1975. He was a general in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), became head of a military junta in 1965, and then president after winning an election in 1967. He established rule over South Vietnam until he resigned and left the nation a few days before the fall of Saigon and the ultimate North Vietnamese victory in the Vietnam War.

Nguyễn Văn Thiệu in 1973

Quotes edit

  • It is so easy to be an enemy of the United States, but so difficult to be a friend.
    • As quoted in a response to Anna Chennault in 1975
    • Langguth, A.J. Our Vietnam, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000 page 656.
  • Don't listen to what the Communists say, but look at what they do.
    • Bushy, D. The World Looked Away: Vietnam After the War, Archway Publishing, 2018 page 2.
  • The Communists could only hope to win if our ally betrays us and sells us out. But our main ally will never betray us. He has invested so much blood and money.
  • I have always said we are not afraid of a ceasefire, but our stance is that if there is a cease‐fire it must go along with a political settlement.
  • In any peace solution the final decision should be ours. Nobody can sign a cease‐fire agreement or peace settlement without the signature of the Government of the Republic of Vietnam.
  • We have told the Americans, that when you talk to the Communists, if they propose this or that solution, you just receive it and take it back and show it to us. Then we would give our views and you would inform them of our views.

Resignation speech (1975) edit


"Excerpts from Nguyen Van Thieu's Resignation Address as President of Republic of Vietnam, April 21, 1975

  • The Americans have asked us to do an impossible thing… You have asked us to do something you failed to do, with half a million powerful troops and skilled commanders, and with nearly $300 billion in expenditure over six long years.
  • If I do not say that you were defeated by the communists in Vietnam, I must modestly say that you did not win either. But you found an honourable way out. And at present, when our army lacks weapons, ammunition, helicopters, aircraft and B-52s (bombers), you ask us to do an impossible thing, like filling up the ocean with stones…
  • Likewise, you have let our soldiers die under the hail of shells. This is an inhumane act by an inhumane ally. Refusing to aid an ally and abandoning it is an inhumane act…
  • The United States is proud of being an invincible defender of the just cause and the ideal of freedom in the world… Are US statements worthy? Are US commitments still valid?
  • Some $300 million is not a big sum to you. Compared to the amount of money you spent here in ten years, this sum is sufficient for only ten days of fighting. And with this sum, you ask me to score a victory or to check communist aggression, a task which you failed to fulfil in six years, with all US forces, and with such an amount of money. This is absurd.
  • The United States did not keep its promise to help us fight for freedom and it was in the same fight that the United States lost 50,000 of its young men.

Quotes about edit

  • Nguyen Van Thieu and his machine of oppression and constraint, instruments of the U.S. “Vietnamization” policy, constitute the main obstacle to the settlement of the political problem in South Vietnam. Therefore, Nguyen Van Thieu must resign immediately, the Saigon administration must end its warlike policy, disband at once its machine of oppression and constraint against the people, stop its “pacification” policy, disband the concentration camps, set free those persons arrested on political grounds and guarantee to the people the democratic liberties as provided for by the 1954 Geneva agreements on Vietnam. After the above has been achieved, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam will immediately discuss with the Saigon administration the formation of a three-segment government of national concord with a view to organizing general elections in South Vietnam, to elect a constituent assembly, work out a constitution, and set up a definitive government of South Vietnam. The general elections will be held according to procedures agreed upon among the political forces in South Vietnam so as to ensure effectively their free, democratic and fair character.
    • National Liberation Front peace proposal, (February 3, 1973) as quoted in Historic Documents of 1972. Washington, DC: CQ Press.

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about: