Presentation on theme: "Vietnam War in Laos. Timeline Laos was also colonized by the French – After WWII Laotian nationalists led by the Pathet Lao waged war for independence."— Presentation transcript:
Vietnam War in Laos
Timeline Laos was also colonized by the French – After WWII Laotian nationalists led by the Pathet Lao waged war for independence – 1954 Geneva Accords make Laos independent – Civil War ensues between the Royal Lao and the Pathet Lao. Things got tangled with Vietnam. North Vietnam supports the Pathet Lao and the US support the Royal Lao.
Timeline – 1960s, Vietnam War expanded to Laos and US increased operations through the Agency for International Development and Central Intelligence Agency – 1975 Pathet Lao take power and begin a campaign of bloody repression – Groups flee: ethnic Lao, Mien, and Hmong.
Refugees Small farm villagers not used to technology and bureaucracy. Many on welfare and others had low wage jobs. – In Laos, owned their own land, were independent, did own farming, hunting, and fishing. They miss the closeness of village life. – Used slash and burn and after growing moved to other land. In US, had to use same land so they had to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Waited for rain- didn’t know how to irrigate. They also didn’t know how the market worked.
Mien and Hmong Targeted by the Pathet Lao because recruited by CIA to conduct American Military Operations- fought secret war in Laos. After the war, Pathet Lao wanted revenge - exterminate the Hmong and Mien. Evacuated by US. Felt lost in US. – use toilets and gas stoves, fill out welfare forms, and pay bills. – Americans didn’t know who they were and why were in America. – illiterate in their own language so learning English was hard – taught how to read and write in Hmong then taught English
Unemployed soldiers CIA promised to help but were abandoned. Selling handicrafts like needlework, silver bracelets, earrings, or by doing house cleaning and yard work. Became permanent welfare class. Healthy Hmong men suddenly die- mysterious and medically unexplainable. – Hmong Sudden Death Syndrome. – Men years old who were soldiers for years – Died because they don’t know how to start lives over again- died of grief or from survivor guilt. – Relocation depression was widespread