Vietnam President's Visit Draws Protests
DANA POINT, June 23, 2007 (KABC-TV) (KABC) -- Hundreds of angry protesters followed the president of Vietnam to a conference in Orange County Saturday.
They left in buses in the morning, determined to speak out for millions of Vietnamese whose voices, they say, have been silenced.
Making their voices heard, hundreds of demonstrators rallied outside a posh Dana Point resort protesting the first U.S. visit by a Vietnamese President since the Vietnam War.
Kim Vo, Protester: "Right now, no human rights, no freedom, no democracy in our country. That's why I'm here to protest against him, and actually I do not want to see him in this country."
Brought in the by bus load, nearly a thousand strong protesters say they have an obligation to speak for those who cannot.
Police on horseback and in riot wear stood watch over the crowd outside the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, as President Nguyen Minh Triet met inside with business leaders.
On Friday he met with President Bush. The two leaders talked about improving trade between nations as well as human rights, something protestors say is nonexistent in the communist country. Many of them fled Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and say they pray their homeland will soon see a democracy.
Yen Dang, Protester: "I think Vietnam one day, one day, no longer, no longer communist."
Many of those who took part in the two days of protests say they believe this is the first time the Vietnamese President and high ranking officials have seen so many Vietnamese openly protesting the government. They say they hope it will have a positive impact.
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