Mr. Speaker, I had the rare privilege of meeting U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson in March. The Texas congressman was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for seven years. His book, Captive Warriors , is one of the most meaningful, significant descriptions on inhumanity that I have ever read.
Thirty years later there are continued allegations of maltreatment of religious organizations, harassment of practitioners and persecution of leaders. Political dissidents in Vietnam called for respect of human rights, freedom and democracy.
In January of this year, I visited Hanoi. I learned that the current political regime takes note of international opinion because it wants to ascend to the WTO and, in that context, is showcasing Vietnam by hosting the APEC summit in 2006.
This weekend, Vietnam's prime minister is visiting Canada. We must be honest with him. Canadians want to constructively help with the peaceful evolution of true democracy in Vietnam.