Back in June 2015, at a book talk at a New York City public library, an audience member had asked me about Sirley Avila, the first time I'd ever heard her name. She had been attacked on May 24. I'd tried to find out more, but reliable information from Cuba is not easy to obtain. Now, less than one year later, here she was, sitting with me.
With the news that incumbent Nguyễn Phú Trong is poised to continue as General Secretary of the Viet Nam Communist Party, following a secretive leadership race with outgoing Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, he must urgently move to rehabilitate the country's longstanding appalling human rights record.