Garcia trip to Cambodia stirs dismay: ‘Is the mayor choosing money over democracy and human rights?’

Mayor Robert Garcia made history when he became the city’s first sitting mayor to visit Cambodia last month.

His visit to the country was part of a trade delegation to Southeast Asia organized and funded by the Port of Long Beach. However, what was considered to be a momentous occasion meant to unite the two cultures through trade and tourism also raised concerns amid some members of the city’s Cambodian community.

“When I see the mayor [taking a trip to Cambodia] it hurts and I feel hopeless,” said an emotional woman in Khmer during a small gathering Monday night at a church in Cambodia Town.

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