In case you missed it over the weekend, President Obama lifted the long-standing arms embargo against Vietnam.
President Obama on Monday fully lifted the United States’ 41-year arms embargo against Vietnam.
"At this stage both sides have developed a level of trust and cooperation, including between our militaries, that is reflective of common interests and mutual respect," Obama said at a news conference in Hanoi.
“This change will ensure that Vietnam has access to the equipment it needs to defend itself and removes a lingering vestige of the Cold War,” he added.
The move is receiving heavy criticism from Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, who argue the fight for human rights in the communist country jeopardized.
Dem CA Rep Loretta Sanchez says lifting Vietnam arms embargo "perilously weakened our leverage for securing human rights reforms in Vietnam"— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 23, 2016
Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce had a similar response to President Obama's decision.
“The security situation in Southeast Asia is driving several countries to seek closer military ties with the United States. That’s influence the administration could use to press Vietnam to better its very bad human rights record. But that’s now leverage lost with today’s action," Royce released in a statement. "The Obama administration’s ‘pivot to Asia’ should be about security ties, but also standing up for brave Vietnamese believers in democracy when they are under assault in Vietnam.”
President Obama will visit Vietnam this week.