Guam: US primary rivalry livens former Spanish colony

Most US citizens do not know that the Stars and Stripes fly in Guam. Most people, in fact, do not know where to find Guam.

However, thanks to the close race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, the small island in the Pacific has found its place on the map, the dpa reported.

Obama narrowly beat out Clinton in Democratic caucuses on Saturday by just seven votes, or 50.1 per cent to 49.9 per cent, CNN reported. Obama took 2,264 votes, while Clinton got 2,257 votes.

Ahead of the vote, Obama wrote a letter that local media published Friday. Clinton promised to work for the island's voting rights, and former US president Bill Clinton phoned Guam radio stations to promote his wife's candidacy.

Both candidates have broadcast campaign ads on the island's television stations, and Obama even opened an office in the capital, Hagatna, with three people working full time.

According to Guam media, the Clintons have capitalized on several visits to the island, including a stopover on their way to Asia.

Obama, in turn, is exploiting his Pacific connection, as he was born in Hawaii and grew up in Indonesia.

"I learned first-hand about the unique issues facing Pacific island communities," he said in his letter.

Gaining favour with the US territory's delegates is the motivation of these efforts.

The Democrats will formally choose a presidential candidate at their nominating convention in late August in Denver.

Each vote counts in the closest-ever nomination race. According to the website, Obama had 1,738 delegates, to Clinton's 1,599 before Guam's votes were tallied and ahead of the next key contests in Indiana and North Carolina on Tuesday. Both are still a long way off the 2,024 needed to secure the nomination.

Guam will elect four delegates with full voting rights, and Saturday's results evenly split those delegates with two for each candidate.

More important than the number of delegates, however, is the chance to flaunt a triumph over the losing rival - even if that triumph takes place more than 20 hours from Washington on an island with only 170,000 people. They are, in fact, living a day ahead of the rest of the United States.

Guam has little in common with the mainland, and its importance is almost exclusively strategic. The 550-square-kilometer island is home to US Navy and Air Force bases.

"People give me strange looks when I say I am from Guam," says Kristina Horgan.

She arrived on the island when she was just 7 months old, lived there for 25 of her 35 years, and now lives in Washington.

"Most people do not know where it is, and they change the subject or simply nod. Only some people with military connections know where it is," Horgan added.

Other people are even more blunt.

"My roommate in college once asked me if we drank blood in Guam. I should have told her that we did, that we drank it in coconut shells," Horgan said.

Guam, locally called Guahan, was discovered by Europeans during the 16th-century circumnavigation of the world by Ferdinand Magellan. Formally a Spanish colony, Spain ceded it to the United States in 1898, following the Spanish-American War.

As in the Philippines, Spanish influence is still apparent in Guam. Its governor's name is Felix Perez Camacho, it has a Roman Catholic majority and born islanders call themselves "chamorros."

The sudden attention from the mainland, even if it lasts only a few days, is welcomed by most residents on an island that has a long history of making demands on Washington. However, some see a situation plagued with hypocrisy.

"I'm struck by the fact that the former president (Clinton) is calling once again for our island's assistance when it is Guam that has needed the help of the Clintons and the federal government for many years," former island resident Ryan Flynn wrote in the daily Marianas Variety.

More than likely, once Saturday's primary is over, Guam faces a rapid return to obscurity. The winning candidate will have no political need to return ahead of the November election because - just like the residents of Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands - the inhabitants of Guam have no vote in US presidential elections.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
S Korea's effective measure to free Iran's frozen fund - Iran deputy FM
S Korea's effective measure to free Iran's frozen fund - Iran deputy FM
Iran has been destabilizing actor in many ways - US State Dept on Iran's action against Azerbaijan
Iran has been destabilizing actor in many ways - US State Dept on Iran's action against Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani, Iranian FMs hold phone talks
Azerbaijani, Iranian FMs hold phone talks
Loading Bars
Heavy rains lash India's Kerala, red alert sounded in 5 districts
Share of households with internet access increases in Georgia
Seventeen U.S. missionaries and family kidnapped in Haiti
Iranian private investments in Tajikistan expected to grow
1,900 new COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
IRICA unveils data on exports of Iran to Belarus
Azerbaijan national team takes second place at Grand Slam judo tournament
8 killed, over 20 injured in traffic accident in Peru
1 deputy killed, 2 injured in "ambush shooting" in U.S. Texas
Israel's active COVID-19 cases below 20,000
At least 6 dead, 1 missing after ship sinks in Brazil
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry shares publication in connection with anniversary of Armenia's missile attack on Ganja
Information about firing of Azerbaijani army in direction of Arazdeyen does not reflect truth - Ministry of Defense
Sudan protest calls for military coup as political crisis deepens
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev addresses the nation on October 17, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 17, 2020
District Election Commissions to sum up protocols of municipal polls in Georgia
A working meeting of the delegations of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan takes place
Russian authorities say 18 dead in suspected alcohol poisoning in Yekaterinburg
UN chief welcomes unilateral cease-fire in CAR
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise
Work on increasing wages, pensions and benefits begins - Ministry of Finance of Azerbaijan
Official talks reasons for increase in gas prices in Azerbaijan
Post-conflict reconstruction projects launched by President Ilham Aliyev is unprecedented - Aide to President (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani IDEA signs agreement with All-Russian Society for Nature Conservation (PHOTO)
Saudi Arabia's PIF launches offshore platform tourism project
NATO Special Representative for Caucasus to visit Azerbaijan
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on October 17
Iran reaches grow in exports to Kyrgyzstan
World gas prices grow by 20-30 times compared to last year - SOCAR
Latvia to gift Georgia 83,070 doses of Pfizer jab
Earthquake hits southern Iran
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,681 more COVID-19 cases, 675 recoveries
South Caucasus countries need to coordinate to open communications - Pakistani diplomat
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signs decree on raising social payments
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 16
Uzbekistan to privatize public park in Tashkent
Muslims all together sympathetic with Azerbaijan - Palestinian ambassador
Iran's exports to Kazakhstan up
SOCAR Georgia Gas opens tender on pickup trucks through operating lease
Turkish president and German chancellor holding talks in Istanbul
Novak does not rule out recurrence of energy crisis in Europe, urges its prevention
Azerbaijani official talks victims of Armenian attacks on Tartar during Second Karabakh War
Centuries needed to revive nature of Azerbaijan's Karabakh - minister
Azerbaijan raises electricity and gas prices
Restoration work in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories show positive trend – Kyrgyz ambassador
Over past 25-30 years, no country independently conducted such large-scale reconstruction in post-conflict period - aide to Azerbaijani president
Armenia must take serious and positive steps to open communications - Azerbaijani president's assistant (Exclusive)
Azerbaijan looks to sign document on demining liberated territories with France
Azerbaijan's Air Defense Units carrying out combat firing exercises (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan's Karabakh to be famous for its "smart cities" and agricultural products - Turkish ambassador
Iran boosts exports to Russia
Russia registers over 1,000 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours first since pandemic starts
Kazakh energy minister names reasons for shutdown of Pavlodar refinery
Iran sees increase in trade turnover with EAEU member states
Representatives of diplomatic corps view restoration work in liberated territories of Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
First plane with UN humanitarian aid for Afghanistan arrives in Uzbekistan
Iran records increase in load/unload operations in Amirabad port
Georgia and US to discuss co-op in Black Sea
Fuzuli Airport Granted International Status and Assigned IATA Code
Uzbekistan to fund startups in various sectors
U.S. lawmaker blames Boeing leaders for culture that led to crashes
Turkmenistan to purchase agricultural machinery from foreign manufacturers
Iran Energy Exchange shares data on sales of Iran’s Jam Petrochemical Company
Azerbaijan names gymnasts to perform at World Championships in Japan
During former occupation of Sugovushan, Armenia deprived vast lands of water - aide to Azerbaijani president (PHOTO)
Volume of loaded and unloaded cargo in Iran’s Noshahr Port down
Georgia shares data on COVID-19 cases for October 16
Kazakhstan boosts trade with Turkmenistan over 8M2021
Exports of steel manufacturers in Iran increase
Georgia, EU, and Turkey enter into "diagonal cumulation" agreement
Azerbaijani sees increase in oil prices
Iran raises ceiling on housing loans
Uzbekistan’s FEZ creates good basis for deepening co-op with Azerbaijan
Turkmenistan’s private enterprise eyes building dry cargo vessel
Trade turnover between Russia, US may hit record this year, says Deputy PM Overchuk
Iran to launch several shipping lines to Russia, Kazakhstan
Iran looks to improve transportation of goods from Khuzestan Province
Russia’s Korona Pay eyes expanding money transfers via Azerbaijan's mobile banking apps
Gas prices in Europe to remain high over next 6 months
Iranian currency rates for October 16
Turkmenistan's electric potential rises after commissioning new capacious power plants
Iran to increase fuel production
UK MP killing was terrorist incident, Met Police say
Representatives of diplomatic corps in Azerbaijan begin visit to Sugovushan
Czech Republic eyes to support improvement of Georgian air transport infrastructure
1,900 more COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
Biden says those who refuse to testify in Jan 6 probe should be prosecuted
ISIS claims responsibility for mosque attack in Afghan city of Kandahar
Fully vaccinated foreign visitors can enter U.S. starting on Nov. 8
China's Shenzhou-13 crewed spaceship docks with space station module
UK records more than 40,000 COVID cases for third day in a row
Biden says Clinton will be released ‘shortly’ from California hospital
Amazon-owned Twitch says source code exposed in last week's data breach
Israel's annual inflation up 2.5 pct, highest in nearly decade
Africa's COVID-19 cases surpass 8.41 mln: Africa CDC
US shares specific data on cybercrime with Russia, awaits its actions, White House says
Saudi Arabia appoints Al-Rabiah as new Hajj minister
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev interviewed by Turkish A Haber TV channel on October 16, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
All news