Pro-Independence Leader Welcomes Guam Political Status Process; Will Continue Struggle

Despite possible plebiscite, U.S. makes it clear any vote won’t be binding

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 22, 2016) – A pro-independence leader on Guam says he's happy the island may finally be deciding the future of its political status, but that alone will not be enough.

Michael Lujan Bevacqua is the co-chair of the Guam Taskforce for Independence, which sits on a decolonisation committee established by the governor Eddie Calvo.

That committee is expected to submit a report within the next few weeks about whether to proceed with a plebiscite in November's election.

If the vote goes ahead, Guamanians will select one of three options -- pursue the possibility of becoming the 51st US state, free association with the US, or full independence.

But Dr Bevacqua, a Chamorro who supports breaking away from the United States, said no matter what Guam chose, it would be Congress in Washington that ultimately decided Guam's future.

"That's why we can't simply look at this as simply like a vote alone, it has to be part of a larger struggle," he said.

"The United States has been very clear that whatever we vote on, it is not binding to them. And so it's really going to be up to us then to submit it to them [and] try to work with them."

Radio New Zealand International
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