Heavy-handed Communists

It is easy to forget the freedoms we enjoy in the United States, especially those offered by the First Amendment. In Vietnam, a country that practices soft communism, a capitalist hybrid, three bloggers found themselves in hot water:

Prosecutors in Vietnam have charged three well-know bloggers with spreading anti-government propaganda.

Lawyer Ha Huy Son said Monday that his client Nguyen Van Hai and two others, Phan Thanh Hai and Ta Phong Tan, have been charged. The state-run newspaper Ho Chi Minh City Law said the three are accused of posting 421 articles on their blogs that “distorted and opposed the State.”

All three belong to the outlawed “Free Journalists Club.”

British businessman Neil Heywood

I support the bloggers, naturally. Even though I don’t know the content of their writing. Of course, communist countries are not known for their soft hand in dealing with opposition:

The British businessman whose murder has sparked political upheaval in China was poisoned after he threatened to expose a plan by a Chinese leader’s wife to move money abroad, two sources with knowledge of the police investigation said.

It was the first time a specific motive has been revealed for Neil Heywood’s murder last November, a death which ended Chinese leader Bo Xilai’s hopes of emerging as a top central leader and threw off balance the Communist Party’s looming leadership succession.

Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, asked Heywood late last year to move a large sum of money abroad, and she became outraged when he demanded a larger cut of the money than she had expected due to the size of the transaction, the sources said.

Moving the People’s money abroad? Sounds very communist, no?