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The freedom and economic vitality of Cambodia is as good today as it was in the 1960s before the Communists took over.

And Vietnam is, in many ways, responsible for the success of the current regime in the country now known as the People's Republic of Kampuchea.That's according to Dr. Michel Guillas, a medical doctor who spoke to students at Brigham Young University last week. Guillas recently left Cambodia, where he was a doctor with the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Guillas said most of the international community doesn't approve of Vietnam's actions. Only 10 countries in the world support the Kampuchean government, and Cambodia's seat in the United Nations is held by a coalition of groups that control various refugee camps just inside Thailand.

Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1979 and overthrew Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Yet, Guillas compared the war to the liberation and occupation of Germany at the end of World War II.

Pol Pot's troops had attacked Vietnam, and Vietnam chose to defend itself and eventually eliminate the Khmer Rouge. Cambodia became much like West Germany with occupying armies staying there, he said.

Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge were worse than the Nazis, said Guillas. In their attempts to "purify" their country, they eliminated currency and killed two million people.

The government of Cambodia has received vast acceptance within its country. The Khmers (native Cambodians) are typically easy-going and trusting, he said. The government was the first in a socialist country to implement the reforms of perestroika. Only about 33 percent of the government are communists.

Vietnam pulled its remaining troops out of the country in September, and observers have wondered how the country would fare. A main problem facing the country now will be the reassimilation of the approximately 300,000 refugees. Many of the people who stayed in Cambodia consider the refugees traitors.

Pol Pot concentrated his terror on educated people, so the future holds problems for the country. The refugees tend to be better educated, but have not been functioning in the society for about 10 years.

Guillas is uncertain what the future ultimately holds for Kampuchea _ in Cambodian "the country where the gold lies at the foothill" - but thinks the people will rally behind the government because they fear the return of the Khmer Rouge.