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Mr. DE LUGO. Next, we have Maria G. Iglesias.
Ms. IGLESIAS. Thank you. I salute you, all your wonderful panel here, and may I just say something. My speech is very short and I am not well prepared, but I will do my very best. Mr. DE LUGO. You will do fine.
Ms. IGLESIAS. Yes sir. In some parts it is kind of strong, but like maybe anti-American feelings, but truly it is not. I am basically Caucasian too, myself. My grandfather is from Vermont and Spain. So I grew up in a business world, my parents were in business. I have a beautiful home in California. I live in luxury.
I am a business woman now. I am the only woman Chamorro in contract engineering, and I took a recent test, and I earned a high score in my written test. So I am very glad and it is a very competitive world. I compete with Koreans, and statesiders and whatever in Guam.
I love my Guam. As I said, I have a beautiful home, luxury, live in the United States, but I don't know, I still love Guam. It cannot be compensated. So I think I will die in Guam. I travel a lot, too, but I am worried about the young generation. So I would read my speech now and I hope you understand.
Like the title implies “Commonwealth” would make the Guam Chamorro more wealthy and wise. As common people we have come a long way, I must say, educated and disciplined in all walks of life. We have accredited university, written language, well matured leadership-judicial, legislative, and executive. We have capable citizenship in the professions. For example, doctors, lawyers, newspaper, bankers, even a recent Pulitzer Prize winner in photography.
In other words, our quest for commonwealth status is really overdue. We, the Chamorros, want to be the drivers of our destinies and not be dictated to by Washingtonians, who, to begin with, have no empathy and understanding of our basic human rights and values.
As Chamorros and Pacific Islanders, we are totally different in values, culture, and outlook in life from the Caucasians from the mainland. We are brown people, with sensitive feelings and our mentality with the white people is as different as night and day.
Also, decisions made in Washington are far fetched, not practical and different as night and day, from the Pacific people. As the word "pacific” implies, we are a gentle people in nature. We are loyal Americans. We are law abiding and God fearing people. Our culture is basically based in Christianity, a population of 90 percent Catholics. We live and honor the Ten Commandments, but because of our diversified backgrounds and education, most Chamorros know three languages.
We are highly expectant of a better government. The commonwealth status. We are so ably matured. We want to develop and direct our destinies and children's destinies. This is our quest and birthright. Uncle Sam has treated us as little children and the little children are breaking out of their breeches. Uncle Sam has not been a wise and fair father for the Chamorro of Guam. We have been killed and slaughtered in World War II, Korean and Vietnam Wars, wars not of our own making.
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Set us free from the love-hate, parent-child relationship with the United States. Set us free. Sacrifices and sacrifices. We want better legacy for our children and children's children. To manage our destinies with better government. We don't want yokes and shackles any more. Give us commonwealth status so we can be fully members of the American family. We deserve this. It is our right. Give us commonwealth status, for it would eradicate all the past/ present injustices and pains imposed on these Pacific Islanders, the Chamorro people. Mr. DE LUGO. Thank you very much. [Prepared statement of Ms. Iglesias follows:]
Like the title implies " Cominonwealth" would make the
" Guam Chamorros " Jore Healthy and Wise! As common people we have come along way; I must say educated and disciplined in all walks of lives. We have accredited university, yritten language, well matured leadership,-Judicial, Legislat tive and Executive. We have capable citenship in the professions, example.-Doctors, lawyers, newspaper, bankers, even a recent Pulizer Winner in photography. In other words, our quest for commonwealth status is really overdue! He the Chamorros want to be the drivers of our destines and not be dictated by "Washigtonians "-- who to begin with, have no empathy and understanding of our basic nunan rights and values. As Chamorros and Pacific Islanders, We are totally different in values, cultures and outlook in life as the " Caucasions." from the mainland. We are brown people, with sensitive feelings and our mentality with tire hite people is üüdirivrent as night and day. Also decisions made in Washington are far fetched, not practical and different as night and day, with the Pacifis people. As the word PACIFIC- implies; we are a gentle people in nature. We are loyal Americans. We are law-abiding and God-fearing peoplex Our culture is basically based in Christ: ..., ianity, population 90% Cathmics. We live and honor the
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Mr. DE LUGO. Now, ladies and gentlemen, we have our final witness and then we will take a break. This is Mr. Carl J.C. Aguon.
Mr. AGUON. Mr. Chairman and members of the House Interior Committee on Insular and International Affairs. Hafa adai.
I am here today to participate with my fellow people of Guam to plead our rights to self-determination before this august body of the U.S. Congress. We, the American people from Guam have passed the Commonwealth Act expressing our desires and firm belief that we are ready, willing and able to self-govern, just like our brother and sisters in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.
Your support of our commonwealth initiative recognizes America's guidance and assistance for almost a century to bring Guam to economic, social, and political adulthood competent and eager to assume her place in the world society. I earnestly appeal to all of you to act favorably and speedily in the passage of Guam's Commonwealth Act.
My name is Carl J.C. Aguon. I was born after World War II in the village of Barrigada, Guiin. My parents, Juan Upingco Aguon (deceased) and Maria Castro Aguon are both indigenous to Guam. I have eight other brothers and sisters, most of which are residing on Guam and others in the continental United States. I reside with my wife and four children on Guam.
My mother and father have always spoken proudly and joyously of the American occupation prior to World War II and after the war, as American citizens. They instilled in us a deep and abiding sense of American heritage and values. America is a great and beautiful nation, I remember them repeating, because her heart is pure, she is a democracy and protects and defends freedom, liberty, social and economic equality and justice worldwide.
My father fought alongside U.S. forces in the mop-up operation as a combat patrol sergeant leading a troop of about 16 Guamanians seeking Japanese stragglers immediately after the invasion. For his gallantry in combat for his island and freedom, he was awarded the Silver Star by the United States Armed Forces.
My mother, who was a school teacher for several years prior to the war, gave up her profession so she could provide a motherly home for her then three children. She strongly believes that rearing her sons and daughters is a more important and rewarding than a professional career.
The mother in a home, she often tells us, provides the foundation upon which children develop strong moral, ethical, and social values that will make them become good members of our society. This task was not easy, especially during the Japanese occupation and several years after the war. It took tremendous courage and commitment, and above all, love. Yes, my mother loves us so very much that her love continues to nourish us not only in our respective endeavors, but as parents as well.
Guam is like a child of the United States of America. Like a father, she taught us to be self-reliant and responsible. She defended us against invaders and freed us from their tyranny. Like a mother, she treated us with love and affection. She milked us with nutriments that made our bodies healthy and strong. She taught us