Governor: Balance national security and cultural preservation

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. PNC file photo

A balance between national security and cultural preservation is Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s response to the dozens of cultural and environmental activists during Tuesday night’s discussion at Adelup.

After several testimonies ignited the heated conversations in the room, the governor outlined her plans for Guam’s political status.

“We get our political status in order and we vote on what we want to be so we can have more control over our destiny here and so we can have more control over our lands. So we can go to the United Nations and negotiate with the United States and so we can be at the table when these kinds of things are being negotiated,” the governor said.

She added that there is a balance to be found between militarization and historic preservation — a sentiment that did not seem to sit well with most of the activists in the room.

But the governor patiently explained that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that a more locally defined political status would allow the people of Guam more leverage to negotiate with the federal government.

The governor also pointed out that she supports the military buildup, but not because of its economic benefits, which she believes is not that much, but rather because of the buildup’s importance for the security of Guam, the region, and the United States.

She stressed that Guam is not just the first line of defense, but the center of defense against threats from countries like China and North Korea.