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VIETNAM Ho Chi Minh As the founder of the Indo-Chinese Communist party in 1930 and president of North Vietnam from 1945 to 1969 Ho Chi Minh led the longest and most costly 20th-century war against colonialism His whole adult life was devoted to ending French and later American domination of Vietnam His goals were achieved in 1975 six years after his death when the last Americans left South Vietnam The Vietnamese communist has always claimed that Ho Chi Minh was the hero who gained independence for Vietnam from France There is no doubt that Ho Chi Minh was a man of undoubted bravery and vast subbornness Ho Chi Minh was born as Nguyen Tat Thanh his given name on May 19 1890 in Hoang Tru Vietnam French Indochina He attended school in Hue during his teen years he worked as a schoolmaster for a time and went to a technical school in Saigon In 1911 he went to work on ocean freighters which took him around to Africa and as far as Boston and New York City After two years in London from 1915-1917 he moved to Paris and remained there until 1923 At Paris he became a socialist and organized a group of Vietnamese who were living there in a protest against French colonial policy He was then later inspired by the successful Communist revolution in Russia that he went to Moscow in 1924 and took part in the fifth Congress of the Communist International His anticolonial views kept him from returning to Vietnam until the end of World War II He spent much of his time in China where he organized the Indo-Chinese Communist party on February 3 1930 It was up until the 1940s that he began to use the name Ho Chi Minh meaning Ho the Enlightener In 1941 Ho and his comrades formed a league for the independance of Vietnam or Vietminh
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