Pol Pot's Rise to Power
The Khmer Rouge, the Communist Party of Cambodia was born out of the struggle for Independence against France. Pol Pot led this party. Khmer is the culture and langauge of Cambodia like Americana and Rouge means red. So Khmer Rouge means the Red Cambodia; it was Communist. The leader at the time was Lon Nol and he was backed by the United States. He had staged a coup to gain power. Then a civil war broke out between Lon Nol's forces and Pol Pot's forces. Pol Pot and his forces won because the majority of the Cambodians hated the Americans who backed Lon Nol. With help from neighboring Vietnam, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia. They took power in late 1976.