In 1954, on the same day the French were forced to surrender in Vietnam, a peace conference was held. It was determined that the country would be divided between north and south, with Ho Chi Minh controlling the north and the American supported Ngo Dingh Diem in the south. The plan was for the election to be held in 1956 with the winner controlling a unified Vietnam. The problem for the U.S. was that they knew Diem could not win, so they supported Diem canceling the election in the south as he became a dictatorship. The U.S. could not afford to allow another nation to fall to communism.