Friday, January 20, 2017

Independent Guåhan January GA

Independent Guåhan Upcoming General Assembly will Honor Former Bank of Guam President Anthony Leon Guerrero and Discuss Jones Act

For Immediate Release, January 20, 2017 – Independent Guåhan invites the public to its monthly General Assembly on Thursday, January 26 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the main pavilion of the Chamorro Village in Hagåtña. For this first General Assembly of the year, the focus will be on the Jones Act and how Guam’s economy has been inhibited by this colonial imposition.

The Merchant Marine Act, more commonly known as the Jones Act, was passed in 1920 and is designed to protect U.S. shipbuilding and maintain a vibrant American maritime industry. It requires that trade of goods between U.S. ports, including those in the territories be conducted on U.S. built ships, owned by US citizens and crewed by permanent residents or citizens of the U.S. This act has led to an artificial inflation of prices on goods sold in places such as Guam, which cannot take advantage of their proximity to foreign countries that might offer comparable, albeit cheaper services. The educational presentation for this month’s meeting will discuss how this Act negatively affects our economy and explore the opportunities for economic growth that Guam could achieve as an independent country.

Independent Guåhan will also honor the late Anthony Leon Guerrero, former President of the Bank of Guam, as part of the monthly Maga’taotao Series. Leon Guerrero is best known for his role in helping the Bank of Guam, the bank his father Jesus Leon Guerrero helped found, to become the first Guam-based business to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In addition to his business acumen, Leon Guerrero was also a strong Chamorro cultural advocate, helping to found both the Guam Humanities Council and Guampedia. He was also highly critical of Guam’s unincorporated political status and strongly favored increased independence for the island. As he wrote in an essay, “…if we are to develop our economy, we will have to do it ourselves. The colonizers not only do not help in economic development, they discourage it, either through direct actions or by setting up systems that makes us dependent on their continuing activities.”

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