Guam’s governor says his territory’s battle with the United States for greater civic rights has been an uphill and extremely difficult battle.
As a US territory, Guamanians are US citizens, but they can’t vote for president and their congress delegate is unable to vote.
Eddie Calvo has spent his eight years in office, which ends in December, trying to push for greater representation or an independence plebiscite with little progress.
Mr Calvo’s latest push is a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to consider giving the one-in-eight Guamanians who have served in the military a right to vote.
He said that is an incremental step towards greater civic freedoms.
“We deserve a vote. We all deserve a vote for a president that will send us into wars, we do deserve a vote for a Congress that imposes laws on the people of Guam.
“But at the same time we also understand that sometimes it has to be incremental. Sometimes you have to go to first base in order to get home.”
Eddie Calvo said Guam had the highest per capita enlistment rate, and thousands have died fighting for democracy around the world, when they don’t have it at home.
“One in every eight Guamanians has served in the armed services of the United States. So the intention of my letter is to give those men and women in uniform, those that have served, the opportunity to vote for a president. And ultimately it’s the president that sends them into harm’s way.”
Eddie Calvo said he will raise the issue again when he meets Mr Trump later this year.