Sunday Almanac: Cambodian Coup (March 18-20, 1970)

Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia visiting C...

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On this date:

March 18 – 20, 1970 Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia is deposed by General Lon Nol.

Sihanouk, who had been out of the country at the time of the coup, had been walking a fine line for years between the Americans and the North Vietnamese– he allowed the U.S. to conduct strategic bombing against NVA targets inside Cambodia while at the same time he was the one who granted those same NVA troops sanctuary within his borders. Sihanouk was desperate to keep his country out of the fighting war so he played both ends against the middle, and was remarkably successful at it. In the end it was his inability, or lack of effort, to stop supplies destined for the NVA and Viet Cong from traversing his ports and countryside that finally led the US to support his removal… More>>

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