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Vietnam’s former Communist Party leader Do Muoi, a revolutionary who broke out of a French prison and later led the controversial push to dismantle private businesses after the Vietnam War, died late Monday at age 101, officials said, reports BSS/AFP.
Muoi, a party member for nearly 80 years, passed away in a military hospital in Hanoi following a long illness, the government and state media said. “Comrade Do Muoi… made many great contributions to the revolutionary cause of the party and the nation,” the official state-run Vietnam News Agency said Tuesday.
Born in Hanoi in 1917, Muoi joined Ho Chi Minh’s communist revolution at age 19, eager to expel Vietnam’s French colonial rulers who were eventually overthrown in 1954.
His revolutionary activities landed him in Hanoi’s infamous Hoa Lo prison in 1941 — later dubbed the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ by American POWs, including John McCain, imprisoned there during the Vietnam War.
Muoi escaped four years later by slipping out of his prison uniform and fleeing via a sewer drain. Muoi spent much of his political career climbing party ranks, eventually joining the politburo in 1982 and gaining a reputation as a conservative ideologue.