Pol Pot’s “Brother No 2”, and the architect of Cambodia’s communist movement for nearly 50 years, Nuon Chea has died. Of muddle heritage (some researchers claim both his parents were Chinese, an idea he himself denied), Chea turned to politics while studying at university in Thailand. Whereas the majority of Khmer Rouge leaders had been educated in Europe, Chea had no such western influences in his Communism. This led to him being trusted by the North Vietnamese, who helped him put together a revolutionary army that saw him and Pot come to power in Kampuchea in 1975. They wasted no time, quickly destroyed all the religious institutions and
He followed an anti-urbanite path upon coming to power, emptying cities and destroying both schools and monasteries. His grasp on power was helped by a relaxed attitude to executions, personally approving the deaths of hundreds of party members who posed a threat to himself or Pot. The Vietnamese finally had enough of his shit in 1979 and drove him from power, leaving the Khmer Rouge to potter about in Thailand – bizarrely under partial US political supervision.