The Garden Grove city council is scheduled tonight to debate sending a "notice of support" letter to a powerful U.S. congressman who seeks the movement of Vietnam's communist dictatorship toward democracy in exchange for future favorable trade and security deals.
If the council agrees to the sentiment, Mayor Bao Nguyen will sign a letter applauding Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, for H.R. 2140, the so-called "Vietnam Human Rights Act of 2015."
In addition to boosting religious freedom in Vietnam, the congressional proposal wants the Southeast Asian nation to take "additional and sustained steps to advance human rights protections" for its citizens; stop jamming Radio Free Asia broadcasts providing U.S.-backed news; minimize human sex and slave trafficking; and promote educational and cultural exchanges designed to advance democratic reform notions.
At issue is Vietnam's 2006 U.S.-approved admittance into the World Trade Organization after communist leaders promised major reforms to win lucrative business deals. The move helped make the nation's rulers, family members and allies become ultra-rich and improved Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi as global travel destinations. But Vietnam's war refugees as well as international observers insist the cash-loaded communists "continue to disrespect and violate basic human rights."More »