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attention, in which we believe the United States have failed to meet the requirements of this framework of decolonizations. The first is the attempt by the administering power to manipulate the "self" to its own benefit and the second is the limitation imposed by the administering power of the range of "determination" among which can be chosen by the people of Guam.
Unfortunately, time constraints prevent the elaboration of these points in a written position paper 24 hours in advance of the upcoming hearing and so will have to await our anticipated oral presentation.
Mr. DE LUGO. Now, our next witness will be Mr. Antonio T. Artero.
Mr. ARTERO. Mr. Chairman, before I start, I see the green light is on but I would like to advise the Chair that my oral presentation is going to be slightly different from the written report submitted.
Mr. DE LUGO. That is quite all right. It will be on the record, too, so go ahead.
Mr. ARTERO. Honorable Ron de Lugo, honorable members of the committee and staff, greetings and warm hafa adai.
My name is Antonio Torres Artero, born on Guam, and my father is a recipient of a Congressional Medal of Freedom. As a concerned citizen, I have been privileged and have served proudly for 21 years in our Submarine Force, protecting our freedom and world peace.
As a realtor now, I offer my testimony in support of the passage of Guam's Commonwealth Act bill, H.R. 98. World history shows that Guam and its people have been more than accommodating to the various countries of the world but the people from the various countries, including the U.S., have demonstrated their support over us and exercised total dominance and control over us.
As a people we have lost our rights even to our private property. We are not questioning the United States' right to own, operate and maintain property on Guam. What we are questioning is the manner in which the properties were taken and the misuse of the properties taken.
Private property rights is deserving the protection of the military, but the military does not have the right to oppressive property takeovers.
The military base on Guam can exist on Guam without Guam having to be the military bastion. Forty-five years after World War II, the so-called land claims compensation that Congress authorized in 1977 had turned into a fiasco of a settlement proposal wherein the people involved were pitted against each other in seeking their fair share of a forced settlement and yet, still, another unjust amount.
The mishandling of the claims have blown up the class action suit into three separate options due largely to the manipulation of facts to cover up the wrongdoing of the government. Or could it be that it is a deliberate application of it the divide and conquer routine? At any rate, it clearly shows the unwillingness of the United States to render justice for us on Guam
You can count on one hand the number of times Judge Peckam, or his replacement, came to Guam. There are many property owners who have not been compensated even to this day.
Although Guam had been flying the American flag for 91 years and the economic condition today is good for the privileged few, the situation we are in is in one word “vulnerable.” It is vulnerable primarily because America's stewardship of Guam centers on total self-interest, neglect of property rights, and clearly a violation of the Constitution.
We have been given our U.S. citizenship for 38 years now and have conducted ourselves in accordance with the United States Constitution. However, unconstitutional practices have been a very consistent U.S. policy on Guam. Our concerned voice about oppres
sion for the past 45 years is treated by America like the sound created by wood eating termites in one's home. You don't hear it until it is too late.
This commonwealth bill for Guam is making it possible for our puny voices emanating from dinky Guam 10,000 miles from Washington, D.C. to be heard for the first time. This commonwealth bill for Guam, if passed, will prevent a crashing blow to America's reputation as a world leader in democracy, peace, and freedom.
Mr. Chairman, the private property rights problem on Guam must be solved first and soon, because they stand in the way of the island-wide comprehensive economic development plan. If that cannot be done, then we are all wasting our time, because Congress cannot legislate greed.
In addition, Mr. Chairman, I would like to comment that I question why this hearing has to be conducted in Hawaii instead of on Guam. The commonwealth bill hearings must be on Guam because it concerns the people of Guam, and their participation is impaired by plane fares and hotel fees.
In closing, Mr. Chairman, I would like to say that we can only hope that the removal of the Berlin Wall will serve as an eye opener for America to acknowledge that the time is overdue for America to practice that which it preaches-democracy.
Democracy is freedom. America must allow total and unconditional political, civil and human rights to the people of Guam who are shackled with military oppression since World War II bypassing the Guam Commonwealth Act bill, return the lands that can be returned to the rightful owners, and justly compensate the landowners who are eminently qualified for just compensation. Mr. DE LUGO. Thank you very much, Mr. Artero. Mr. ARTERO. Thank you, sir. [Prepared statement of Mr. Artero follows:]
ANTONIO T. ARTERO TESTIMONY ON GUAM'S COMMONWEALTH BILL
AFFAIRS INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS
IN HONOLULU, HAWAII
Honorable Ron de Lugo, members of your committee, and staff,
As a concerned citizen, I have been privileged and have served
World history shows that Guam and its people have always been
We are not questioning the United States' right to own, operate,
45 years after WWII, the so-colled "Land Claims Compensation"
THE INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE FEDERATION. THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. THE GUAM BOARD OF REALTORS
Although Guam had been flying the American flag for 91 years, and
If the problem with private property rights on Guam is not going
We can only hope that the removal of the Berlin Wall will serve
There's nothing we would love better than to see the Reagan
Thank you once again for the opportunity to be heard.