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“Dragon Lady” Madame Nhu Complains About American Conduct in Vietnam

Nov. 27, 1962 - Madame Nhu, sister-in-law of President Ngo Dinh Diem, complained today that Americans not only were dancing illegally in South Vietnam, but they also had recently invited officials of the security police to a reception and danced in front of them. Mrs. Nhu is considered to be the first lady of South Vietnam, as President Diem is a bachelor, and she and her husband, Ngo Dinh Nhu, live in Independence Palace with the President. Sometimes referred to as a “dragon lady,” she is the driving force behind South Vietnam’s recent morality law, which prohibits, among other things, dancing. During an interview today, Mrs. Nhu said Americans did not fully respect the laws of Vietnam. “They discuss them, they argue them, and they combat them, either publicly or privately.” She also told the correspondent, Steve Lawrence, that while she did not believe any of the American correspondents now in Vietnam were Communists, she felt they were worse than Communists. “They are intoxicated by communism. They believe whatever the Communists say, and they speak for them, but in a Western tone. This is why it is worse,” she said.


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