Vietnamese police have arrested two US pro-democracy activists, a Frenchwoman and a Thai who were attempting to hold pro-democracy seminars in their nation. The Vietnamese group, Viet Tan(Reform) said the activists, all members of a pro-democracy organization, were meeting with Vietnamese citizens to discuss “peaceful democratic change” in their nation. Police surrounded the house and entered to break up the gathering, taking materials they deemed subversive. The activists apparently were handing out copies of a book called “From Dictatorship to Democracy.” US consular officials had as of yet gained full knowledge concerning who was arrested and the charges being placed against them. Vietnamese police refused to discuss the raid, claiming, ‘we are not permitted to talk about his.”
Vietnam is enjoying an economic boom and it is not surprising that some of its citizens expect to have greater freedom. America and Vietnam have established good working relations and the past is slowly disappearing into the haze of history. It is merely a matter of time before Vietnam recognizes that the modern world requires some aspects of democracy if their nation is to become an economic power.