Friday, July 23, 2010

Breaking Fences In Vietnam - by Bill Hayton

International aid and investment has not brought multi-party democracy to Vietnam; instead it has made one party rule more efficient and effective.

Fulbright scholar and celebrity lawyer Le Cong Dinh is to remain in prison in Vietnam. Recently, the Appeals Court in Ho Chi Minh City upheld his five-year sentence for 'trying to overthrow the state' and returned Dinh and his two co-accused to their cells. The fate of this man--who famously defended his country's catfish farmers against U.S. trade restrictions; was deputy head of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association; briefed international legal delegations; and married a former Miss Vietnam--has now clearly defined the limits of political activity the ruling Communist Party (CPV) will tolerate...

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