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Free to Bitch

January 21, 2010

There are many things we as a people can complain about in our government, and nation as a whole. However, when I read the story about the trail that just took place in Communist Vietnam, I was reacquainted with my feelings of just how happy I am to live in a country where I can express my beliefs and thoughts on how to improve what we have.

In Ho Chi Minh City, a trail was held for four men accused of trying to overthrow the Communist government of Vietnam. The four men wanted democracy for their country.


Vietnam today convicted four democracy activists of trying to overthrow the communist government and sentenced them to up to 16 years in prison for promoting multiparty democracy.

The most well known of the four defendants, U.S.-trained human rights attorney Le Cong Dinh, received a relatively light five-year sentence after judges at the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court deliberated for just a half-hour. The court apparently showed leniency because Dinh acknowledged breaking the law during his testimony.

“From the bottom of my heart, I myself and these three other defendants had no intention to overthrow the government,” Dinh told the court.

This could have turned out a lot worse than it did, the penalty for what they did could have been death. Can you imagine being put to death for peacefully expressing your thoughts about your government.

As part of their defense to avoid the death penalty, Le cong Dinh said that he was influenced by Western ways when he trained as a human rights attorney in the U.S.

The court said it also took into account the fact that the defendants had been “coerced by hostile forces” from overseas who oppose Vietnam’s communist government. Dinh testified today that he had been influenced by Western ideas while studying in the United States.

None of them is better known than Dinh. In addition to handling high-profile human rights cases, he once represented Vietnamese fish farmers fighting an unfair trade complaint brought by U.S. catfish growers. During closing arguments at a 2007 human rights trial in Hanoi, Dinh made a highly unusual public plea for freedom of expression

The one part of this article which should outrage Americans, (besides the human rights violations), is American companies are allowed to do business with Communist Vietnam and its companies. By allowing trade and manufacturing, the U.S. is saying that it agrees with the squashing of human rights.


Currently, Vietnam has about 500 IT companies with over 10,000 professionals ranging from software developers, quality assurance specialists and graphic specialists to network engineers, project managers and operational support specialists. The majority of these companies are small with less than 100 employees. The larger companies are more matured with their operating processes as most are certified with CMM level 3 or above.

Why is it that the government will allow the companies to deal with the likes of Vietnam, China, and numerous other communist countries, but Cuba is off limits? (that is a rhetorical question)

I found a few books and papers that explain how to deal with the Vietnam government and other things you need to know to do business there. However, Myer and Brown have put out a paper that covers pretty much all you need to know. It should be entitled, “Dealing with a Communist Government”, or “How to Help Rape the Destitute”. However, it is titled, “Guide to Doing Business in Vietnam”


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