Diem and Democracy: the US Press and public’s view

I mentioned this at the end of class yesterday.

The US pressed Diem in 1956 to start to reform his autocratic and increasingly authoritarian government and after winning 98.2% of the vote in his sham referendum, he agreed to have a legislative election:

SAIGON, Vietnam, March 4– This republic passed a milestone on the road to democratic nationhood today as its citizens, went to the polls to choose South Vietnam’s first National Assembly.

Yet this legislature deferred to Diem on nearly everything of significance legislatively, and instead took up a leadership role in the minor areas of regulating lawyers and pharmacists. But of course the American people got a very different impression from American papers. Click the image to open in a new window, and then click again to enlarge.

. Diem_Saigon_Democracy


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