NORTH VIET NAM: The Land of the Dong

In the small and troubled Communist land of North Viet Nam, just about the safest thing to be is a Cabinet Minister. If Boss Ho Chi Minh likes the man, he is apt to keep him around, no matter how many mistakes he makes. But the performance of Finance Minister Le Van Hien was too much even for the indulgent Ho to bear.

Le's chief qualification as a Finance Minister was that he was a faithful party member. A onetime mailman who spent much of his early life in and out of French colonial jails. Le was all right in...

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