What Do YOU Think: Should We Be Concerned About (the Lack of) Religious Freedom in Vietnam?

“Now the Vietnamese have their desired trade status, yet they continue to harass and detain individuals who promote democracy, human rights and religious freedom.”

That’s what our own fabulous Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Someone Who Cares) told The Register about the lack of religious freedom in Vietnam, even as the US signs onto trade deals with the repressive regime. Yesterday, a group of bipartisan lawmakers (including Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D-San Jose], Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R-Surf City HB], and others) called on the White House to put Vietnam back on the State Department’s Countries of Concern list on religious freedom. At a hearing on the state of human rights in Vietnam, lawmakers told a Foreign Affairs subcommittee that despite Vietnam being granted most favored nation trading status and admitted into the World Trade Organization, human rights abuses have worsened.

So what do YOU think the US should do about the lack of political progress in Vietnam?Do you agree with our own Rep. Sanchez and other Congresscritters that the State Department should put Vietnam back on the “Countries of Concern” list? Or is the Bush Administration right in saying that everything really is improving in Vietnam? Has the US gone too far in doing too many trade deals with the repressive regime slamming down its iron fist in Vietnam? Or will “free trade” alone improve the political situation?

I want to hear what you have to say about US policy toward Vietnam, so go ahead and have your say. Is the Bush Administration right in doing trade with Vietnam? Or are we improperly “rewarding” a regime that isn’t matching its “free enterprise” with a free and open democratic government? Let’s talk about it.

  5 comments for “What Do YOU Think: Should We Be Concerned About (the Lack of) Religious Freedom in Vietnam?

  1. English Major
    November 7, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    “Congresscritters?” Andrew, how old are you? Please stop with the cutesy writing if you want to ever be taken seriously.

  2. jose s.
    November 8, 2007 at 11:51 am

    why should i care about religious freedom in vietnam when there are tens of thousands of vietnamese immigrants here who dont recognize our freedoms?

  3. Andrew Davey
    November 8, 2007 at 11:59 am

    English Major-

    Gimme a break. If you don’t want to take me seriously, that’s your choice. I, along with all my fine co-bloggers here, try to bring up serious issues on this blog. And if you can’t judge my writing by the character of its content, that’s your problem.

    jose s-

    Wow, I think this is a new low for you. So we shouldn’t care about religious freedom in Vietnam because of political shenanigans happening here in Orange County? I don’t get it. Are you saying that because of whatever’s happening with a few politicians in Little Saigon, we shouldn’t care about what we’re doing in Vietnam? Please explain yourself, ‘cuz I’m seriously not getting your logic.

  4. November 8, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    I’ve always preferred “congressbeing” over “congresscritter,” myself. ;^)

  5. Concerned Citizen
    November 9, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    Re. Jose’s post, it’s not just religious freedom at stake in VN, there’s no real freedom of labor organization, freedom of the press, etc. What we are witnessing in VN is the development of a very corrupt capitalist dictatorship similar to China (or for you cynics, similar to what’s going on here with the Bushites).

    And, while there are many Vietnamese Trannies (inlcuding DINO Andrew Nguyen) who have little respect for freedoms here (e.g. Andrew’s support for right winger Trung Nguyen for Supervisor), there are also those Vietnamese like KimOanh Nguyen Lam who reflect progressive values and have a strong record of reaching out across ethnicities to bring our communities together.

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