Representative Sanchez, joined by her colleague Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) and Vietnamese activists, spoke at the congressional briefing discussing the ongoing human rights violations occurring in Vietnam and the potential implications if Congress passes the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trade Promotion Authority.
“There is great concern in Congress of the possibility of yet another trade deal with the government of Vietnam—a government which refuses to respect the basic human rights of its own people,” said Representative Sanchez. “The United States has made decisions in the past to ignore Vietnam’s human rights violations in exchange for economic benefits, and these unfortunate decisions have only led to empty promises and further inhumane behavior by the government of Vietnam.”
The Vietnamese Government is notorious for harassing and imprisoning individuals for promoting political participation, better working conditions, and religious freedom. As Congress considers the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trade Promotion Authority, it is imperative that Members of Congress and the public are aware of Vietnam’s atrocious human rights record.
The speakers included activists Nguyen Manh Hung, Nguyen Van Loi, Truong Minh Tam; and Allen S. Weiner, director of the Stanford Program in International and Comparative Law and co-director of the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation.
Activist Nguyen Van Loi’s wife and son are former political prisoners, but his daughter, Nguyen Dang Minh Man is still serving an 8 year sentence in a prison in Thanh Hoa. Because Minh Man is a political prisoner, she is in solitary confinement and has completed two 15 day hunger strikes along with other political prisoners.
Rep. Sanchez is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam and has been working on the ongoing human rights crisis in Vietnam, including its severe labor rights issues for the past 18 years. Rep. Sanchez represents the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam in the world, in Orange County, California.
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is proud to represent California’s 46th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, and parts of the cities of Garden Grove and Orange in Orange County. She serves as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces and the second ranked Democrat on the Committee on Homeland Security.