Viet Nam: A Whole Lot of Shake-Up

A Whole Lot of Shake-Up

Even among Communist regimes, Viet Nam has long been known for the unchanging roll call of its top ranks. That reputation abruptly changed last week when Radio Hanoi announced that eight Cabinet ministers in the Pham Van Dong government, which has been in power since the unification of North and South Viet Nam in 1976, had been either fired or reassigned. It was the biggest government shake-up in Hanoi since the Communists came to power in North Viet Nam in 1954.

The firings were the result of widespread disappointment with the government's economic failures. The prime victim of the purge was...

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