Who was the leader of communist Cambodia?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The leader of the Cambodian communists, better known as the Khmer Rouge, was a man who was known as Pol Pot.  This was not his real name.  His real name was Saloth Sar.  Pol Pot became the leader of the rebels who were fighting against Prince Norodom Sihanouk’s government.  In 1975, the Khmer Rouge won their rebellion and took power over what they called Kampuchea. 

The Khmer Rouge’s rule is best known for its brutal policies that led to the deaths of huge numbers of people.  It is estimated that slightly over 20% of the population of Cambodia died under the Khmer Rouge.  Pol Pot’s regime was overthrown by communists backed by Vietnam in 1979.  Pol Pot continued to lead the Khmer Rouge faction, which continued to vie for power.  He led the Khmer Rouge until he died in 1998. 

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