Ho Chi Minh

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Ho Chi Minh, regarded by many historians as one of the greater leaders of people rose from poor obscurity to lead and emancipate the people of Vietnam. Born Nguyen Sinh Cung into a mandarin family in Nghe An, Central Vietnam in 1890 , Ho's beginnings were amongst the lower class. He was educated at the Lycee Quoc-hoc, a nationalist school in Hue, founded by the Minister Ngo Dinh Kha – father of Ngo Dinh Diem who would later become the USA's puppet ruler of South Vietnam . Ho travelled the world as a ship's cabin boy, leaving Vietnam in 1912 and arriving in Paris where he worked for a time as a gardener's helper, laundry man and as a pastry chef. Around 1917 or 1918 he assisted in founding the French Socialist Party and assumed the alias Nguyen Ai-Quoc, The Peasant Patriot .

Ho put forth a set of resolutions for Vietnam's self-determination at the treaty of Versailles from the public gallery though this failed . During the 1920s Ho became known as an international communist, travelling to the Soviet Union in the 1920s and later as a welcome guest of Mao Zedong, a revolutionary in China, where he joined the Comintern in Canton.

Ho brought together various leftist groups to form the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP) in 1930 albeit from Hong Kong . According to Thomas Cantwell, the ICP was "decidedly anti-colonialist and …based on the Bolshevik model" , thus the French targeted it for extinction only months after Ho and other members moved into Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh was gaoled in Hong Kong in June 1931, "though not surrendered to the French" . He was released after two years on a legal technicality and spent the rest of the 1930s as an active Comintern agent, spending considerable time with the Chinese Communists and organising the Vietnamese for the coming revolution.

It was World War Two that gave considerable impetus to Ho's attempts to liberate Vietnam from French colonialism, the humiliation of the French at the hands of the Japanese...
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