arch 18, 2020 marks 50 years to the day that Prince Norodom Sihanouk was officially removed from his role as Cambodia’s head of state, displaced by his former prime minister and military general Lon Nol in what has become known in popular memory as a US-backed coup d’etat.
Arguably the single most consequential act of Cambodia’s 20th century history, the basic arc of events that followed in the decade after the 1970 overthrow have become well-known to most. But the legacy of this change in leadership is still unfolding to this day – with its full connection to Cambodia’s current political landscape seen in subtle parallels in terms of context and leadership.
French historian Henri Locard is aware that his narrative of this momentous shift in the country’s politics is contrary to the opinions of other experts, and even Wikipedia, but he asserts the events of March 18, 1970 should not be called a coup.
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