The Very Ugly "Vietnam Model"

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Bottom line: There should be no room for this "Vietnam model" in the Americas, which is bound by one of the world's two regional Democratic Charters (the European Union's is the other) and where 34-out-of-35 nations are democracies.

It would be geopolitical malpractice.

Yet, this is the model the Obama Administration and those who seek to profit from Castro's brutal dictatorship hold as a "success."

From Foreign Policy:

The Ugly Thugs Running Vietnam Aren’t Experimenting With Democracy

It may look like a capitalist frontier, but it’s a police state at heart.

Vietnam is a moirĂ© pattern: Squint at the country one way and you get an aspirational society zooming into the future. Squint another way, and you get an old-fashioned jailer of anyone who refuses to toe the party line. The sunshine lobby focuses on Vietnam’s lovely beaches, food, and allure as a tourist destination. Human rights reporters focus on patterns of abuse.

Yes, the country is opening to the West and rapidly developing. And yet — for all its sunny charms –Vietnam is a culture in ruins. The censors have silenced or exiled the country’s best artists. Vietnam’s best novelist and poets no longer write, except for those who circulate their work in underground samizdats. Journalism is a corrupt enterprise controlled by the government. Ditto for publishing. History is too dangerous to study. Freedom of religion, thought, speech — the ministers of propaganda curtail them all.

From Jan. 20 to 28, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) is holding its 12th quinquennial pig roast known as the National Congress. Some 1,500 party members will gather in Hanoi to adopt a five-year economic plan and approve a recommended slate of candidates for the CPV’s Central Committee, its elite 16-member Politburo, and the party’s general secretary (the chap who sits at the head of the table). Corrupt from top to bottom, bloated by patronage and devoted to crony socialism and rent-seeking, the CPV maintains a hammerlock on Vietnam’s government, military, media, and 93 million people. “Marxism needs a dictator,” Russian refugee and author Vladimir Nabokov said, “and a dictator needs a secret police, and that is the end of the world.” [...]

A cultural ground zero in a police state that beats democracy advocates with iron bars, Vietnam gets away with being a bad actor because many people want to do business with its enterprising citizens, or enjoy the country’s pleasures. Vietnam will welcome tourists and haggle over global finance and transnational capitalism, no problem. But if you want to come to the party, forget it. Party members only.