Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

original Chamorros, to ultimately chose for ourselves the nature and extent of our political relationship with the United States.

The treaty of Paris by which Guam was ceded to United States from Spain should have been the vehicle to speedily provide the basic mechanism by which the Chamorros will attain the greatest measure of self-government. Apparently as if by some sort of conspiracy, between the U.S. President and the Congress and in cahoot with Spain entered into a treaty which provide that the future political and civil status of the native of Guam shall be determind by Congress.

Guam is a distant island and Congress is not indisposed to ambitiousely look after the welfare of the Chamorros, specially after relegating the Chamorros as mere commodities, there were a phenomenal steady but slow growth in the social, educational, economic, aspirations of the people of Guam. This pace in steady but slow growth was to be expected after the administration of the island was assigned to the Navy Department.

Gradually Chamorros, like our ancestral leader, Hurao, by instinct began to understand the fundamantal principles of democracy. Its central value being the rights of individuals. The quest for enjoyment of the full protection of the Constitution and the rights enjoyed by other Americans began to be felt and remissed. Some where, we have been cheated. We are only half Americans!!

There are many living example and evidence that the full meaning and protection of the Constitution do not cover the people of Guam. The solution is to devise a system where constitutional acomodation can be assured. Such a plan is conceived in the proposed Commonwealth Act for Guam.

The Congress allows Guam to freely express the type of relationship most desirable to the welbeing of the people of Guam. I join the ranks of those who felt that it is fundemantely significant to embody in the Act the pprinciple of Selfdetermination. To strike this down is to invvalidate free expression, freedom of choice as to the type of relationship between United States and the people of Guam that best promote and enhance their common desire and interests.

Let me rephrase this, that to strike down the Chamorros rights of self determination as expressed in the Draft Act as repugnant to the constitution is like a "strike" call before a picher throws a ball to a batter!!

Thank you for the honor and privilege to testify before this committee.

SPEECH OF CHIEF HURAO BEFORE OTHER
CHAMORO CHIEFS IN THE ANCIENT VILLAGE OF
AGANA IN 1671, FOR THE CHAMORROS TO RISE AND
PROTECT THEIR LIBERTY AND CUSTOMS AGAINST THE SPANIARDS

"The European", he said would have done better to remain in their own country. We have no need of their help to live happily. Satisfied with what our islands furnish us, we desire nothing else. The knowledge which they have given us has only increased our needs and stimulated our desires. They find it evil that we do not dress. If that were necessary, nature would have provided. They treat us as gross people and regard us as barbarians. But do we have to believe them? Under the pretext of instructing us they are corrupting us. They take away from us the primitive simplicity in which we live. They dare to take away our liberty which should be dearer to us than life itself. They try to persuade us that we will be happier and some of us have been blinded into believing their words. But can we have such sentiments if we reflect that we have been covered with misery and maladies ever since these foreigners have come to disturb our peace? Before they arrived on the island we did not know insects. Did we know rats, flies, mosquitoes and all the other little animals which constantly torment us? These are the beautiful presents they have made to us. And what have their floating machines brought us? Formerly we did not have rhumatism and inflamation. If we had sicknesse we had remedies for them. But they have brought us their diseases but do not teach the remedies. Is it necessary that our cupidity and evil desires make us want to have iron and other bagatelles which only render us unhappy? The Spaniards reproach us bcause of our poverty, ignorance and lack of industry. But if we are poor, as they claim, then what do they search for here? If they didn't need us, they would not express themselves to so many perils and make such great efforts to establish themselves in our midst. For what purpose do they teach us except to make us adopt their customs and subject ourselves to their laws and lose the precious liberty left to us by our ancestors? In a word they try to make us unhappy in the hope of an ephomoreal happiness which can be enjoyed only after death.

They treat our history as fables and fictions. Haven't we the same right concerning that which they teach us as incontestable and good faith. All their skill is directed towards tricking us; all their knowledge tends only to make us unhappy. If we are ignorant and blind, as they would have us beleive, it is because we have learned their evil plans too late and have allowed them to settle here. Let us not loose courage in the presence of our misfortune. They are only a handful. We can easily defeat them. Even though we do not have their deadly weapons which spread distruction all over, we can overcome them by our number. We are stronger than we think and we can quickly free ourselves from these foreigners and regain our former freedom.

Mr. DE LUGO. I want to thank all of the members of this panel for your presentations.

The Chair would like to announce that we will have one more panel and then we are going to break for lunch. The next panel will be Mr. Poka Laenui, Mr. Carl J.C. Aguon, Mr. Antonio T. Artero, Ms. Maria G. Iglesias, and Soledad A Lujan.

I want to welcome you all here before the subcommittee. We will begin with the testimony of Mr. Poka A. Laenui. PANEL CONSISTING OF POKA LAENUI, ANTONIO T. ARTERO,

MARIA G. IGLESIAS, AND CARL J.C. AGUON Mr. LAENUI. Greetings to everybody. I am Poka Laenui, I am a Hawaiian. I am not Guamanian, I am not American.

Mr. Chairman, I have already submitted my written testimony before this committee and therefore, I will not stick very closely to that, because I believe the committee will make it a part of its record anyway. Mr. DE LUGO. Yes, it will.

Mr. LAENUI. I speak in behalf of the World Council on Indigenous People, which has consultative status with the United Nations and we are in what is known as being in Category II. We have very much engaged in advocacy of human rights for indige nous people throughout the world. The document explains the different memberships we have in various regions of the world of indigenous people. As I said, I will not go through all the documents. However, I do want to express some thoughts, having been requested by various Chamorro people to express our views on this subject matter.

First, I would like to say that the Guam Draft Commonwealth Act now before this committee and before the United States Congress cannot be hidden under the cloak of internal affairs of the United States. This matter falls squarely within the process of decolonization. The mere labeling of Guam by its administrative power, the United States of America, as a unincorporated territory does not alter the fact that we do have a situation where the colonized are crying out for decolonization.

Mr. Chairman, we have heard the term self-determination used over and over and over again before this subcommittee. What I would like to do in the interest of saving time is address two specific points and that point is self, and the second point is determination.

Mr. Chairman, what we have seen, what I have heard, and having visited Guam, is that what we have throughout the Pacific is too often times a manipulation of the self so that the people who are actually making the determination of what their future status should be is not its self, not the people who supposedly should be making that decision, but oftentimes an altered self, altered by the administrating powers or those who are called the trustees whoever the trust people.

Let me give you a very specific example:

When the United States controls transmigration into Guam and when the United States says we shall determine who will participate in this election, the United States is altering this self. When

ing in thishall control whais ration into Gua

the United States says we shall control immigration into Guam, when United States says we shall control what the rules are with regards to participating in this vote, the United States are altering that self and that is a violation of the trust that the United States is charged with under Article 73 of the UN Charter.

There are other ways of controlling that the United States has been guilty of, control over education, economy, trade, and other areas to say that we have to be stuck to the United States. That is an alteration of the self, that is not the free choice that people should have the right to in accordance with what we consider today to be the international standard of true self-determination.

But the next question then becomes well, what is the solution? How do we resolve this?

Well, I don't know how to resolve it, but I would suggest that one of the things that the United States must consider immediately is to turn over control to the Chamorro people the right for them to decide who is to participate in this election process, not simply because they are American citizens and they have been to Guam for the last three months or six months, or a year, they have the right to participate and decide someone else's self-determination.

Let me jump immediately to the second aspect of the term selfdetermination. What is determination really? determination means to have the awareness that you can choose from total integration into the United States to absolute independence, but the United States has been guilty over and over and over again by limiting that choice to perhaps commonwealth if it conforms with the American Constitution, while the truth is that the people of Guam, the Chamorros of Guam, have by international standards, the right to be independent and that really has not been-they have not been made aware fully of this right.

We have heard just in a prior testimony the White House rules out independence-in a newspaper headline. That type of control over the people limits their real ability to choose.

Mr. DE LUGO. If you will suspend just a moment, I think that that newspaper headline was quoted by a previous witness. Mr. Farrow was involved in that when he was in the White House and he was one of those who worked on the Carter plan to extend greater self-determination to the insular areas.

The newspaper quoted from what was a consultant's proposal. It was not the White House proposal. The fact is that not only is independence available, but free association, which is independence in association with the mother country, or the father country, or whatever, and also statehood.

But it should be freely chosen by the people who make the decision.

Mr. LAENUI. And the awareness must be carried over to the people.

I know my time is up. I just wanted to share these concerns from a people who are not Chamorro but view it from what we consider to be international standards at the present time.

Mr. DE LUGO. Thank you. The subcommittee appreciates your sharing that with us.

[Prepared statement of Mr. Laenui follows:]

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Office in Hawaii
IIII Bishop Street Suite 500 Honolulu. Hawaï (808) 531-1182
Non-Governmental Organization in Consultation with the United Nations

« AnteriorContinuar »