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🚨Coup in South Vietnam Deposes President Diem and Brother

Nov. 1, 1963 - The South Vietnamese Government of President Ngo Dinh Diem has fallen in a swift military coup d’état. The insurgents reported over the Saigon radio this morning that Ngo Dinh Diem and his powerful brother Ngo Dinh Nhu had committed suicide. High officials in Washington did confirm that President Diem surrendered to the rebels at 6:05 this morning, Saigon time (5:05 p.m. yesterday, EST), and that the brothers were arrested. There was no official confirmation of the suicide report, which was relayed to Washington by the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. Americans in Saigon said they believed the insurgents were fully in control of the city and airport as of 6:45 a.m. Saigon time. All indications were that the military committee that staged the coup was firmly anti-Communist and pro-Western. It was viewed as eager to eliminate the repressive features of the Diem Government which had so frustrated the U.S. recently. The insurrectionists pledged to intensify the country’s struggle against the Communist guerrillas — the cause that the U.S. feared might suffer from the Diem regime’s loss of popular support. According to the Saigon radio, the brothers escaped the rebel forces after their surrender and sought asylum in a church. Then, the radio added, they were recaptured. The time of their suicide was given as 10:45 this morning (9:45 p.m. yesterday, EST). Officials said that Nguyen Ngoc Tho, a Buddhist highly regarded in Washington, was expected to become Premier of a caretaker civilian government. Vu Van Mau, who resigned as South Vietnam’s Foreign Minister last August, was also expected to play a prominent role.


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