15 U.S. senators snub Guam - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

15 U.S. senators snub Guam

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Guam may constantly be recognized as being the "tip of the spear" and of strategic importance to the United States, but apparently the territory wasn't a big deal for 15 U.S. senators who stopped on Guam today, snubbing elected officials.

"Whether they're coming or going from Tokyo, Seoul, or Taipei or Australia, this is American soil," announced Guam governor Eddie Calvo. "At this point all it was a pit stop, and that's unacceptable. But folks, we are not Interstate 5."

Saying their visit was a slap in the face, Governor Calvo expressed his disgust with 15 senators who chose to come to Guam in secrecy Monday. The delegation made a brief refueling stop at Andersen Air Force Base this morning en route to Hong Kong. "As far as they're concerned, we're nothing but an asset or a liability depending on the situation," he continued.

In fact, the governor wasn't aware of their stop to Guam until Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo asked him this morning if he would be greeting the senators with her, as she received an invitation to do so. She explained, "I was really surprised that he wasn't asked and he had no knowledge of it. So I appreciate the governor's concerns. I think he should be notified whenever there's visits [sic] from federal officials to Guam, whether they're members of Congress or any other VIPs that come through AAFB or GIAA."

The congresswoman says she didn't have time to discuss any of the island's issues with the senators who were here for less than an hour. But Governor Calvo expressed disdain for the senators who decided not to recognize the importance of their brief visit saying these are the very same people who are tasked with the responsibility of making decisions on the island's behalf especially with regard to the military buildup.

"We would hope that with all the decisions being made including the American taxpayers spending billions of dollars to fund the strategic interests of the U.S. and its allies that they're in this part of the world that they would step into American soil to try to get an idea of not only the issues of Guam, but also the issues of American taxpayers," he said.

The governor says this is yet another compelling reason why the Administration is working with the Legislature to call for a vote on self-determination so that Guam will not continue as a colony of the U.S., but instead be a part of it with voting membership in the House and Senate and the right to vote for president or the territory should govern itself.

"For those folks who are myopic and do not realize that in the Continental U.S., we're going to have to talk a little bit louder with a bit more frequency, as well," he said.

It's a message he fully intends to share with U.S. Senators Jim Webb and Carl Levin, who will visit Guam for one day next week.

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