Thursday, December 02, 2004

Congresswoman denied visa to Vietnam

U.S. Congresswomen Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat from Orange County, California, has been denied a visa to Vietnam, apparently because of her outspoken support for human rights in Vietnam and for linking this issue to improved trade relations with Vietnam. In a letter to the American Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam's National Assembly said Sanchez "altogether lacks objectivity and good will toward Vietnam. The Vietnamese National Assembly and Vietnamese public opinion share the view that a visit to Vietnam by Ms. Loretta Sanchez would not serve Vietnam-U.S. relations." Sanchez, who replaced conservative Republican Bob Dornan in Congress, has made two previous trips to Vietnam, in 1999 and 2000, during which she met with both dissidents and Vietnamese government officials. U.S. ambassador to Vietnam Michael Marine has urged Vietnam to reconsider its refusal. (Orange Country Register article reprinted in Myrtle Beach Online, Dec. 2).


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