Daniel Halliday
Jun 26 · Last update 2 mo. ago.

How did Cambodia end up with a dictatorship even after Pol Pot and the Genocide?

Despite its brutal history Cambodia today boasts a healthy multiparty democracy when in reality it remains a single party state ruled by the same man and dominated by former Khmer Rouge generals since 1985. What has been the cause for Cambodia’s continuous failure to achieve political reform?
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Change of name and leader, but essentially the same regime
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A country, blown apart during the Vietnam War, the remnants sticking close to China
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Change of name and leader, but essentially the same regime

It is widely known that Prime Minister Hun Sen was a member of the Khmer Rogue, and it is also widely believed that his defecting to Vietnam away from the Khmer Rogue was more due to Pol Pot’s maniacal paranoia than to his distaste for ruthless oppression or crimes against humanity. Despite Hun Sen’s official narrative being one of him as Cambodia’s saviour from the Khmer Rouge, he has imposed a remarkably similar dictatorship to Pol Pot’s, installing lots of the same generals to run the country that were members of the Khmer Rogue and being just as ready to forgo human rights to stay in power. Hun Sen has essentially giving a different face to what is essentially the same regime, with local police and government still being formed by the same people that were in power under the Khmer Rouge. Hun Sen's refusal to cooperate with the UN Khmer Rouge Tribunal further demonstrates this relation to the Khmer Rogue even more dramatically, in this way Cambodia’s dictatorship never ended, it just switched leaders.

nytimes.com/1989/12/07/opinion/l-cambodia-s-hun-sen-is-himself-khmer-rouge-722489.html hrw.org/report/2018/06/27/cambodias-dirty-dozen/long-history-rights-abuses-hun-sens-generals# reuters.com/article/us-cambodia-rouge-idUSKBN0NC0UZ20150421

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 18
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A country, blown apart during the Vietnam War, the remnants sticking close to China

During the war in Vietnam the United States carried out a secret bombing campaign in Cambodia and Laos, to try and destroy Vietnamese supply routes. This four year illegal carpet bombing was not authorised by US congress and directly led to around 500,000 casualties in Cambodia, directly bringing the Khmer Rouge to prominence in the country. Over the following year Pol Pot’s regime were sponsored by China as they were carrying out one of the worst campaigns of butchery in recent history. China however continues to support another human rights infringing regime in the form of current leader Hun Sen’s government, formed largely of former Khmer Rouge generals. This country, destroyed by the US, still suffers inherent corruption under the wing of China, both making a dictatorship, like the genocide, a harsh reality to shake off.

rabble.ca/toolkit/on-this-day/us-secret-bombing-cambodia thediplomat.com/2018/01/cambodia-and-china-rewriting-and-repeating-history

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Daniel Halliday
Jun 26
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