Meeting with Bishop

February 12, 2008

In today’s Marianas Variety article written by hmmm, there is no byline, Greg Cruz, Taotao Tano’s president states how he met with Bishop Thomas Camacho to express concerns of activities of Karidat and Guma Esperansa, and my involvement with them. Since the person who wrote the story failed to contact me for my comments, I will answer here.

I have supported the missions of both Karidat and Guma Esperansa for years. In fact, last fall my husband and I sponsored a small fundraiser for Guma Esperansa to support their work with domestic violence, and human trafficking victims. I will be joining a Catholic friend here in Florida next month to fund raise for them again. Bishop Camacho, Sister Mary Stella Mangona, and Lauri Ogumoro are all people of integrity and their work is noble. Their courage in testifying at the February 2007 hearings should be applauded. Their efforts to stand up for those whose rights have been violated deserve praise.

I have the right to encourage people to write letters. I have the right to encourage or join with people to petition, to protest, to rally, to demonstrate, and to scream out for justice and democratic values -values that are often denied to the guest workers of the CNMI. I have the right to communicate with people who share my beliefs and to associate with anyone of my choosing. No one has ever instructed me what to do -no politician, no government official, no non-profit agency. Cruz’s distortions of the facts will not deter my determination to ensure that the guest workers receive fair treatment on U.S. soil. Not one person that Mr. Cruz mentioned in this article has done anything wrong. Not one.

Mr. Cruz’s remarks in letters to the editor, quotes in articles, videos, and Taotao Tano members actions in protesting at the side of the road with signs saying, “This is our Land, go home” are considered to many people, including me, racist and divisive. It is not “wrong” for any individual to oppose racism and injustice, and to protest violations of human rights and human trafficking. In fact, it is our duty as U.S. citizens to stand up and speak out on behalf of those who do not have a voice. I will continue to do that, and I will continue to encourage others to join in being a voice for those with no political or social rights in the CNMI. No amount of bullying, threats from Taotao Tano, distortions of facts, smear campaigns, or “divide and conquer schemes” will stop me or others who believe in democracy, freedom, human rights, and justice for everyone who lives and works on U.S. soil, from standing up for what we believe is right.



Ron Hodges said...

Bishop Camacho is a fine man and Sister Stella is the best.

"Fast track to federalization" is a myth and the record will confirm that organized crime here began bribing US Congresspersons with millions of dollars over a decade ago to block federalization.

The bad guys here are trying to stall this bill and threaten court suits but to quote Chamberonomics I
"This is a ploy by the powerful to stall long overdue decency".

Chamberonomics XVII summed it up this way....
The facts are that the decent people of the commonwealth have not yet been provided with transcripts concerning Jack's activity here, who his accomplices and friends are, what is the current stage of the NMI investigation, who received our ten plus million dollars, and who else will be rotting behind bars for disgracing the Northern Marianas Islands internationally. Our current administration has publicly bragged that our new "Democratic lobbyists" may be as effective as Jack, and judging by the fact that our longtime residents here have been stiffed by ISLA, Jack's Democratic replacements are equally effective and apparently cheaper. So again Congressman, with all due respect, we have sent a clear message that bribery of our elected officials by gangsters not only pays, it is quite lucrative. In addition, ISLA (Island Slave LAw) completely dodges the issue of slavery and leaves our entire working populace in political limbo. To make this abominal matter worse, the new local labor law passed Thursday is the most discriminating legislature since the post Civil War era of Black Codes.

I want to know who got paid what with NMI money and how did they vote on such a grave matter as our hope for decency. I will add a brief overview of our local news.

July, 2007 “Our government is again funding a lobbyist to coddle the interests of our richest one percent while our deteriorating schools are under funded. No community should paint such a bleak picture for their children. Our politicians have squandered opportunity and abdicated their responsibility to our most precious resources. When you go to the polls the next time, please remember your arrogant politicians sipping bubbly in Vegas on your dime while your needy child eats U.S. federally funded cold canned green beans in a non air-conditioned, dilapidated classroom because the money for an oven was redirected to a senator's ghost employee per diem account. We want all perpetrators of the Abramoff bribery scandal that have internationally disgraced the name of the CNMI prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law“. Chamberonomics I

"Did you ever wonder why the world's most influential people have all visited twenty Caribbean islands, have vacationed countless times in Hawaii, own homes throughout Asia, and have never visited the tropical paradise here in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands? It is because the world's most influential people would never want their good name associated with the CNMI's international reputation for exploitation of poor, disenfranchised people by greedy garment factory owners. Any politician that denies this fact is a liar or should have stupid tattooed on his or her forehead. The most serious concern MVA should address is our stained reputation for decency and equality. We need to pack the textile industry remnants on a slow boat to China, sue them for human abuses, indict them for damage to our fragile environment, freeze their bank accounts here and abroad, and add another C holiday (C as in cockroach) on our calendar in memory of their exodus. The international community would applaud us for decency at the cost of economic hardship, and our reputation in the eyes of our children and the world would be on the mend". Chamberonomics I

September, 2007 "So how can politicians spend citizens money for influence peddling in the US Congress without consent of the people-again? Leaders here have a history of involvement with a former lobbyist now in federal prison. Twelve years after our government began paying millions of local dollars used by convicted felon Jack Abramoff to bribe public officials we are again endowing lobbyists. This practice must be stopped at once and a two year impact study to stall justice is unconscionable. This issue is of great consequence to our reputation and demands resolution.

"Local citizens deserve transcripts of federal prisoner Jack Abramoff's testimony and all the facts about perfidy committed in this ongoing affair by his friends here that have disgraced the Northern Marianas Islands. My friends say the new Democratic lobbyists may have some success stonewalling the labor and immigration bill. How can we allow this corruption to proceed? Citizens of the CNMI deserve to know where their money is going, who specifically is being paid, and how these traitors are voting on legislation effecting our decent citizens. To heal our tarnished international image blackened by a generation of human rights violations, we must demand justice by impelling accountability on all perpetrators.

I will not stand idle while leaders here claim voting influence in the US Congress and to quote W. L. Garrison, "I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation...I am in earnest. I will not equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard". Conspiring to control the commonwealth with contributions for US Congresspersons is a high crime and the people here want accountability, answers, and justice". Chamberonomics XIII

Representative Donna Christiansen’s knows this issue must be addressed by saying “I feel strongly that, as a country, we have a moral obligation to many of the long-term guest workers that we were not able to resolve in this legislation(meaning ISLA)”.

The bottom line is that a group of crooks here bribed the US Congress for a decade and twelve years later we have not resolved the issue of decency for our guest workers. We have a diverse community of island and Asian cultures and we must send a strong message that no one can buy the US Congress and get away with it, even our new Democratic lobbyists, because in America, decency and justice prevails over cash from criminals.

Wendy, You should call the Bishop to get to the bottom of who is inciting this smear campaign.

Anonymous said...

cruz can tell the bishop and nuns who they can speak to? not in my church. who does he think he is? Is this ajoke? who wrote this article?

Unheard No More said...

The article in the Marianas Variety had no "author"