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Madame Nhu’s Father Resigns Ambassadorship in Protest

Aug. 22, 1963 - Tran Van Chuong, South Vietnam’s once-influential Ambassador to the U.S., resigned today in angry protest against his Government’s crackdown on the Buddhists, calling the Diem regime one “which ignores my advice and of which I disapprove.” Chuong, 65, is the father of the powerful Madame Nhu, wife of President Diem’s younger brother and chief adviser. In a separate interview with the Washington Post, Chuong took direct issue with U.S. policy by declaring that “it is an insult to a country to say there is no alternative than the present leader [Diem].” “There is not one chance of winning the war against the Communists as long as we have this regime,” Chuong declared. “There is no chance of inducing President Diem to make the change. There is no amount of pressure that could do it.” In a cabled letter to Diem which he made public in Washington, Chuong accused his Government of “copying the tactics of totalitarian regimes” and of engaging in brutal suppression of Buddhists “which is condemned by the entire world.” Meanwhile, Henry Cabot Lodge, the new U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam reached Saigon today. Lodge has been ordered to make an immediate assessment of the political situation in South Vietnam, which remains under martial law.


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