PROVISIONAL REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH VIETNAM (1969-1975)

Dr. Ernest Bolt, University of Richmond

 

The Congress of People's Representatives of the Republic of Vietnam, meeting from June 6-8, 1969, established the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam (PRG) as the rival communist alternative to the Republic of (South) Vietnam. Its first president was Huynh Tan-Phat, and the initial site of the government was in or near Tay-Ning Province. He and other PRG leaders were earlier active in the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF). The PRG's major responsibilities included foreign policy, and its best-known spokesperson was Madam Nguyen Thi Binh, foreign minister and earlier head of the NLF delegation at the Paris peace talks.

In 1969, the PRG received diplomatic recognition from communist states in eastern and central Europe, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Mongolia, North Korea , North Vietnam, Syria, and the Soviet Union. The PRG's minister of justice initially was Truong Nhu Tang, who locates most of PRG's cabinet ministries within the Iron Triangle region of South Vietnam. The proposed site of PRG's capital was An Loc. Minister Tang offers the most complete list of PRG's leadership in his memoir (p. 318).

Tran Van Tra headed the PRG delegation on the Four-Power Joint Military Commission responsible for supervision of the 1973 cease fire and for implementation of prisoner exchanges. He was also the Major PRG representative present at Doc Lap Palace when Saigon fell on April 30, 1975. In that role, General Tran Van Tra served on the Military Management Committee immediately in charge of the city. With victory in 1975, Madam Nguyen Thi Binh became minister of education for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

 

The published version of this brief sketch of the PRG, written by Professor Bolt, may be found in the Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History, Spencer C. Tucker, ed., Volume Two (1998), p. 590.

 

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