Souphanouvong, Prince

Souphanouvong, Prince
▪ 1996

      Laotian revolutionary and political leader (b. July 13, 1909, Luang Prabang, Laos—d. Jan. 9, 1995, Laos), fought against French colonial rule in post-World War II Indochina and then against the U.S.-backed government of independent Laos, notably as founder-leader of the procommunist Pathet Lao guerrilla movement. He eventually served (1975-86) as the first president of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. Souphanouvong studied civil engineering in France and returned to Indochina to build roads and bridges for the colonial administration. He was foreign minister (1947-48) in the Free Lao government-in-exile, but he broke with it in 1950 to form the revolutionary Pathet Lao in alliance with Ho Chi Minh's forces in neighbouring Vietnam. Although he joined a short-lived coalition government (1962-63) with his half brother Prince Souvanna Phouma as prime minister, Souphanouvong was arrested when the coalition collapsed. He escaped and resumed the civil war in the north. After the Pathet Lao seized control in 1975, Souphanouvong was named to the largely ceremonial post of president.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Souphanouvong — /sooh pah nooh vawng /, n. Prince, born 1902, Laotian political leader: president since 1975 (half brother of Prince Souvanna Phouma). * * * born July 13, 1909, Luang Prabang, Laos died Jan. 9, 1995, Laos Leader of the revolutionary Pathet Lao… …   Universalium

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