Obama Under Fire For Meeting With Communist Leader

A Democratic congressman has spoken out against President Obama for meeting with the leader of the Vietnamese Communist Party on Tuesday.

California Rep. Loretta Sanchez joined Republicans in denouncing the White House visit by Nguyen Phu Trong, Fox News reported. The network alleged that Vietnam’s government is “deplorable” on human rights and operates under an “authoritarian” one-party system. While Trong does not hold public office, he wields considerable influence over the country’s politics.

“I am disappointed that the administration has chosen to host (Trong),” said Sanchez, who co-chairs the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam. “As an advocate for human rights in Vietnam, I cannot ignore the dismal state of freedom of the press and freedom of speech.”

She is among several legislators who are concerned about the administration’s efforts to normalize relations with Vietnam, according to Fox News. They want any agreement to call for an improved human rights record, including the end of religious and political persecution.

Sanchez, Republican Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey and seven other House members signed an open letter criticizing the president for sitting down with Trong. They pointed out that Vietnamese officials signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as a United Nations protocol banning torture.

However, political dissidents continue to be arrested.

Photo: US News Daily

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