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In 1971 Sweden announced support to Viet Cong. What were the motives behind it?


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Dear A.P.

Growing popular sympathy for the Vietnamese National Liberation Front seems to have pervaded a number of countries in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The first signs of such sympathies in Sweden occurred in the late ‘60s, when the government stopped permitting the sales of the Carl Gustav M45, aka the Swedish K submachine gun, to the United States, which until then had been a weapon of choice among CIA and MACV-SOG operatives. The first explicit signs of Swedish support for the VC, however, emerged on May 27, 1971, when Foreign Minister Torsten Nilsson announced that Sweden had sent $550,000 worth of medical and humanitarian aid to the NLF, as well as to communist forces in Laos and Cambodia. He hastened to emphasize, however, that none of that aid took the form of weaponry, leaving yet another bit of irony to the Vietnam War: the only Swedish ordnance to see combat use in Vietnam was used primarily by the Americans.



Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
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