Pathet Lao

The Pathet Lao (translated as “Lao Nation”) was a communist political movement and organization in Laos, formed in 1950. The Pathet Lao were always closely associated with Vietnamese communists. They fought against French colonial power during the First Indochina War (1946-1954) as well as anti-communist forces during the Second Indochina War (1955-1975). During the Laotian Civil War of 1975, it was effectively organized, equipped and even led by the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN), after which it was ultimately successful in assuming political power. Eventually, the term became the generic name for Laotian communists.