Friday, November 10, 2006

Life in the Colonies...

Life in the colonies, means living in a world full of gross contradictions and frightening choices.

Ha na’triste yu’, na ti meggaiña i ma botåyi Si Underwood kinu i taotao Camacho. Lao nai hu hasso i lai, na debi di un risibi 50 + 1% gi todu i bota siha, para un fanggana’, hinasso-ku na buente guaguaha ha’ chånsa!

But then I received the email below and the frightening choice emerges. The result of the election, whether Camacho wins now or whether there will be a run-off election depends upon which law is primary on Guam, local law or Federal US law.

For Camacho, he is of the class where what makes Guam Guam is the United States. He does not simply accept the sovereignty of the United States, but celebrates this point. The consciousness of Camacho is a normal one on Guam, which I wrote of several weeks ago through the K.C. Leon Guerrero song Guam U.S.A.Felix Camacho basically does not negotiate with the United States, but makes a big show of doing whatever they want, and not even giving the appearance of Guam's interests being his primary concern. Because Felix ignores the colonial gap between Guam and its "mother country" whatever the Feds want is fine with him, because we basically belong to them, and so they must have our interest at heart when they act. The interests of the United States therefore become more than our own, more than Guam's.

For Underwood, he unlike Camacho, has a history, a list of stances, statements and positions which span decades on Guam. Prior to serving as Guam's non-voting lobbyist to the United States Congress, Underwood regularly criticized the sovereignty of the United States over Guam, revealing the colonial character of its rule over Guam, and calling into question our "liberation." Since serving in Congress, Underwood has softened and centered his positions, but is still willing to say that given Guam's strategic position and how "patriotic" this island is to the United States, we get very little in this colonial compact, while the United States gets bula'la'la'.

On the despite of local law versus Federal law the difference here might appear to be simple. For Camacho, it would be the Fed's rules which would be primary, and his administration has constantly proven this point, in agencies such as the Chamorro Land Trust, which have often remained inactive or ineffective because of fear over whether their existence or actions are unconstitutional.

For Underwood, the local laws would seem to be primary, since the authority of United States over Guam is either illegitimate, colonial or unfortunate. The Federal Government creates laws and bills which impact Guam, but over which Guam has no direct, even symbolic power. The fact that despite being a member of the US Congress, Underwood still attended United Nation's meeting to both support and testify in the struggle for decolonization, in a way proves that the relationship between Guam and the United States is far from fair or equal, but that there is still much to be done.

But in this election we find these roles reversed. Despite the fact that when it comes to Chamorro issues the rule of the Feds must be observed, in this election Camacho now seems to think that local laws should supersede Federal laws. The reasoning being of course that if we follow local laws, then Camacho has already won the election (despite the suspicious circumstances surrounding the counting of the ballots). Moving onto Underwood, perhaps twenty years ago Underwood would have argued for the legitimacy of local laws, in this instance if we observe Federal law specifically the right of the US Congress to determine our political existence, then there will be a run off election since neither candidate got the requisite 50+1% of the votes.

The contradictions therefore leave me with a frightening choice. To support my candidate for the Governor of Guam means I have to support the Organic Act, a document I loathe because it is what is constantly invoked by all on Guam to disprove colonization, whether continuing or historical. For historical the Organic Act seems to prove the eventual equality argument, that although it took a while and doesn't really amount to actual equality, we were always on a path to being equal Americans. In disproving colonization today, the argument follows that while the Organic Act is far from a real constitution or assertion of sovereignty or political existence (save as an effect of America), by providing limit "home rule" it represents a clear break with the colonialism of the Navy prior to 1950, and also a fix to the ambiguous political status of Chamorros before, during and immediately after World War II.

The quandry doesn't last long however, because I know that Felix Camacho is a poor governor of Guam and in the way he and many of his supporters ran their campaign (puru ha' chinatli'e yan sinangan racist) he should not at all be governor again, so if it means accepting in this instance the sovereignty of the United States in order to give Underwood another chance, I wholeheartedly accept.

Ya para hamyo, ni' pau kehåyi yu' put este, tungo’ ha’ este. Yanggen Si Guitterez i gayun-miyu, sa’ hinasson-mimiyu na puru ha’ grassroots gui’ ya para Guahan ha’. Taitai hafa ilek-ña nu i militat pat i Feds. Ti anggokuyon gui’ mampos, esta ha ofresi siha todu Guahan an ya-ñiha. Pau bende siempre i islå-ta taihumasso. Ya yanggen en sipopotte Si Camacho, annok esta na esta ha kumekebende Guahan nu i militat yan i Feds.


News from the GUAM Team Campaign
November 10, 2006
Contact- 477.8206


Anigua- Congressman Robert Underwood, Senator Frank Aguon was joined today in a show of UNITY to follow the law of land, the Organic Act of Guam, by Governor Carl Gutierrez, Senator BJ Cruz, Senator Francis Santos, and all the elected Democratic Senators. Yesterday, the GEC ruled to exclude over 500 votes cast in its recommendation regarding the November 7 Election.

“We are very concerned that this exclusion has effectively stifled the voice of these voters, and will be filing a case to overturn this decision, “ said Congressman Robert Underwood.

He continued, “Guam is proud of its rich heritage as a democracy. Central to that is its deep and abiding faith in the rule of law. We believe strongly that the Organic Act takes precedence over local law and clearly calls for a run-off election in the absence of a 50% +1 majority.”

Governor Carl Gutierrez and Senator Aguon reminded people that the issue regarding overvotes was made clear when Felix Camacho himself fought this in the Supreme Court and pushed for overvotes to be counted.

Next week, the U/A will be filing a case to ensure that all of our voters’ voices are heard. Led by our DREAM TEAM of legal experts: Judge BJ Cruz, Mike Phillips, Jay Arriola, Howard Trapp, John Terlaje, Jonathan Quan, and Mylene Lopez, the U/A Team will move forward in upholding our electoral rights.

The U/A Team will continue to talk to the people of Guam about the importance of our Democracy, and the continuing need for CHANGE- CHANGE in our political climate and most importantly, CHANGE for the betterment of all the people of Guam.

Leadership for CHANGE is more than a campaign slogan, it’s a movement. Our people desire new leadership. This is about GOOD and OPEN government.

The U/A, Sunshine, and Team Spirit supporters came en masse to support our candidates. Joined by Governor Carl Gutierrez, Senator BJ Cruz, and Senator Francis Santos, a united Democratic Team asks that the law be upheld.

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