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Salient. Newspaper of the Victoria University Students' Association. Vol 42 No. 8. April 23 1979

The Lon Nol Coup

The Lon Nol Coup

In 1970 they struck. The CIA engineered a coup in which Sihanouk's cabinet chief, Lon Nol came to power. It was not a particularly difficult coup to engineer. Sihanouk had been increasingly losing control of government which had been hopelessly split into factions in the crisis of the late 60s. The US had been wooing the military in preparation for the coup.

In October 1969, Lon Nol left for France for some medical treatment and at the American hospital at Neuilly-sur-Seine, met CIA advisors to plan the operation. When the coup took place on March 18, Sihanouk was himself out of the country making visits to China and the USSR.

Following the CIA coup in Cambodia the whole situation developed rapidly.