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She defied Henry Kissinger

Nguyen Thi Binh, vice president of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, met with a group of U.S. activists in New York on May 9. Many remembered her as the incomparable Madame Binh who had headed the delegation of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam at the Paris peace talks in the 1970s. She had faced down former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who threatened the Vietnamese with nuclear bombs several times during the negotiations. Her skill and grace under pressure gave inspiration to women everywhere to take their place in the leadership of progressive causes.

Madame Binh thanked the movement here for its work to stop the war. She also explained that Vietnam today, although reunited and at peace, continues to suffer serious health problems from the heavy use of toxic chemicals--like Agent Orange--that the U.S. dropped all over the countryside. Its economy is still one of the poorest in Asia, and has never received the reparations promised for the terrible damage done by the U.S. war.

Reprinted from the May 23, 2002, issue of Workers World newspaper

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