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Vietnam. Hanoi. Military history museum. Statue of Ho Chí Minh (May 19, 1890 - September 2, 1969) who was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary and statesman as Prime Minister (1946-1955) and President (1946-1969) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). Ho Chí Minh led the Viet Minh independence movement from 1941 onward, establishing the communist-governed Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 and defeating the French Union in 1954. He lost political power inside North Vietnam in the late 1950s, but remained as the highly visible figurehead president until his death. Red flag of the Vietnamese Communist Party.  04.04.09 © 2009 Didier Ruef