Press Release



The Vietnamese American Community of the USA

16204 Viki Lynn Pl., Pflugerville, TX 78660
TEL: (703) 980 9425 – (512) 789 0481

Jan 24. 2015

To: The Honorable Rusty Bailey
Mayor of the City of Riverside
3900 Main Street, #3
Riverside, CA 92522

cc: Riverside City Council

Subject: Concern on the Establishment of Sister Relationship between the City of Riverside and the City of Can Tho

Dear Mayor Bailey,

We heard that your great City of Riverside has recently established a sister relationship with Can Tho, Vietnam. The purpose of official friendship as described in the news is to provide new opportunity for cultural, educational and economic exchanges between the two cities. We respect your initiative and believe in a normal circumstance this relationship will benefit both cities. I would ask for your assistance to consider an alternate view of this important decision and hopefully can find a solution that can truly enrich the people of both cities in terms of culture, education, and economy.

The fall of South Vietnam by North Vietnam invasion resulted in millions of South Vietnamese to flee their homeland to seek for freedom in the United States and the free world, of which a large population settled in South Californian’s cities including Riverside. Not to mention nearly a half million of Vietnamese perished on the high sea in search for freedom.

Though being a member of the United Nations and signatory to the International Covenant on the Civil and Political Rights, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has systematically violated the basic human rights (HRs) of its people such as freedom to worship, right to free speech, freedom of assembly and right to elect their own government representatives, all of which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is obligated to provide as a member of United Nations.

To the great majority of Vietnamese Americans in the US and particularly in Riverside, the regime ruled solely by the Vietnam Communist Party is one of the most brutal dictatorships in history. The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) continued its one-party rule, in place since 1954 in North Vietnam and since 1975 in the rest of the country. While maintaining its monopoly on state power, it has faced growing public discontent with lack of basic freedoms and violating of human rights. Please refer to the Human Right Watch’s 2014 Country Report (page 399) for the reference of our claim. The Vietnamese people in Vietnam, particularly in Can Tho, are greatly suffered. We have been supporting our fellow countrymen’s in their struggle for freedom and democracy in Vietnam

For the above reasons, we question the validity of any measures to promote such regime, particularly in the United States, where civil and human rights are most respected. The establishment of relationship between Riverside and Can Tho may become the façade to cover the covert deeds of Vietnam government in violation of human rights. In the other words, a goodwill initiative, like this sister relationship, can become an accomplice to the HRs perpetrators as pointed out by the U.S. Congress’ Tom Lantos Committee in Mar 2014.

Furthermore, the unveiled sign with Communist Vietnam flag on the streets of Riverside is the insulting image to our Vietnamese American refugees as the Nazi’s swastika to the Jewish community.

On behalf of millions of Vietnamese Americans in the United States including the Vietnamese American citizens in your city, we express our concern about this issue and respectfully request the City of Riverside to dismiss the relationship between the two cities and remove the Communist Vietnam flag from the city streets.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Do
CEO, President of the VAC-USA


3 Responses to Press Release

  1. mpvd1946 says:


    Vietnam Veterans of America
    5750 Tilton Avenue, Riverside, CA 92509
    VFW Post 10267
    8607 Mission Blvd., Riverside, CA 92509
    VFW Post 9223
    10303 Arlington Ave., Riverside, CA 92505

    Dear comrades-in-arms,

    Half a century ago, you left your comfortable life here in the states to go to a remote country helping us to fight against the Communists. We bet the chaotic, brutal symphony of the battle still lingers in your memory as it does to us (I myself, an infantry soldier during the war).

    Our sacrifice was to bring peace, freedom and democracy to the Vietnamese people. But forty years after the war ended, freedom and democracy are still out of reach, because the Communist government in Vietnam has tightened its grips on every aspects of life, denying all the human rights to our fellow Vietnamese. To our point of view, the Vietnamese Communists are still our adversary until they make any improvement toward democracy.

    That the City of Riverside established the relationship with Vietnam’s Can Tho city is not the right thing to do in current situation and can be seen as a challenge to our Vietnamese Americans who are struggling against the Communists.

    We are urging you to help us speaking your loud and clear voice to the City of Riverside to reverse its decision.
    As always, Vietnamese people and war veterans are thankful for your sacrifice.

    Sincerely yours,
    Michael Do
    CEO, President of the VAC-USA


  2. mpvd1946 says:

    Councilman Michael Soubirous’e reply
    From: Soubirous, Mike
    Jan 26 at 8:47 PM
    To: Michael Do

    Mr. Do,
    Thank you very much and Happy Lunar Year to you, your family and staff.
    I am very respectful of the many people from former South Vietnam and those from former North Viet Nam who are forced to live under communist rule.

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. mpvd1946 says:

    Dear Mr. Do,
    I voted “No” on this proposal for the reasons you enumerate. I brought these points up as well as 25+ speakers.
    Mike Soubirous
    Riverside City Councilmember – Ward 3


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