South Vietnamese leaders have started an urgent search for ways to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Viet Cong and North Vietnam now that President Thieu has gone.
MV Thieu speaking on TV
CA people watch TV
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MV Thieu shaking hands with cabinet members
GV policemen guiding traffic
GV policemen beside car
CU American flag
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GV U.S. Embassy
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GV and RV Americans waiting on footpath (2 shots)
GV demonstration outside Saigon Cathedral (2 shots)
GV demonstrators with banners (2 shots)
CU monk looking on
MV buddish leader arrives
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Background: South Vietnamese leaders have started an urgent search for ways to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Viet Cong and North Vietnam now that President Thieu has gone.
Leader of South Vietnam for almost a decade, the 52-year-old President Thieu announced his resignation on television on Monday night, bitterly declaring he was betrayed by the United States. He said he hoped his departure from office would end 26 years of war in Vietnam.
Mr. Thieu blamed the American passivity for the strength of the Communist forces who have nearly swallowed up the whole country in the last five weeks.
The Vice-President, Mr. Tran Van Huong, aged 71, under law assumed the presidency.. At the end of his speech, Mr. Thieu said farewell to National Assembly and cabinet members with him at the palace for the announcement.
In Saigon the following morning, police security was tightened to prevent any disturbances. Many Americans and Vietnamese continued to queue outside the U.S. Embassy trying to secure visas to enable them to flee Saigon.
But many non-Communist and Communist opponents of Mr. Thieu made it clear his resignation was not enough when Catholic and Buddhist opposition groups gathered the next morning at the Saigon Cathedral. They indicated that without a change of Prime Minister and cabinet it was still the Thieu regime in power without Thieu.