Tags: Barack Obama | vietnam | communist | visit | barack | obama | congress

Lawmakers Blast Obama's Meeting With Vietnam's Communist Leader

Lawmakers Blast Obama's Meeting With Vietnam's Communist Leader
President Barack Obama shakes hands with Vietnam's Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 July 2015 04:05 PM

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is blasting President Barack Obama for hosting the leader of Vietnam's Communist Party at the White House on Tuesday despite that nation's continuing human rights violations.

California Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez said in a statement Wednesday that she is "disappointed that the administration has chosen to host Nguyễn Phú Trọng, the general secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party," The Hill reports.

"As an advocate for human rights in Vietnam, I cannot ignore the dismal state of freedom of the press and freedom of speech," Sanchez added.

She joined eight other members of Congress in a letter sent to Obama on Monday criticizing Trong and telling the president not to ignore the human rights violations that persist in Vietnam in his conversations with the communist leader.

"As you well know, Mr. Trong is not a head of state nor leader of an elected government," they wrote. "He has been invited to the the White House simply because he sits at the top of Vietnam's one-party system."

They cite the "authoritarian one-party system" as "the root cause of the deplorable human rights situation in Vietnam."

Even though Vietnam has made "a commitment to the principles of universal human rights," the lawmakers say that "the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) had determined that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam continues to systematically arrest and detain Vietnamese social and political activists, violating its clear obligations under international standards."

For this reason, the bipartisan members of Congress said that it's key that the United States send a message to Vietnam about these violations.

"We recommend that you bring attention to the mistreatment of political and religious prisoners in Vietnam — especially those serving long prison sentences for their peaceful expression and political advocacy," they wrote, adding a list of bloggers and other prisoners that ought to be released.

The meeting was the first official visit since the normalization of the United States' relationship with Vietnam 20 years ago.

Following the meeting, Obama said that he and Trong "discussed candidly some of our differences around issues of human rights."

They also discussed the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Advocates for human rights and democracy in Vietnam held protests outside the White House during the meeting, BBC News reports. 

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is blasting President Barack Obama for hosting the leader of Vietnam's Communist Party at the White House on Tuesday despite that nation's continuing human rights violations.
vietnam, communist, visit, barack, obama, congress
378
2015-05-08
Wednesday, 08 July 2015 04:05 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved