Updated: Mar 17, 2021
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who found herself in the company of Americans who thought Guam was a foreign country, today received lessons in history and current events. First and foremost, this tiny Pacific island, known as the "tip of the spear," has been a U.S. territory for more than a century.
"Guam is an integral component of allied U.S. force realignment priorities now guiding the United States Indo-Pacific Command Area of Responsibility, headquartered at Pearl Harbor," Guam Visitors Bureau president Carl Gutierrez wrote in a letter to Greene.
The representative from Georgia's 14th congressional district stirred controversy during a recent Conservative Political Action Conference in
Orlando, Fl., where she made a comment lumping Guam together with foreign countries which she said should not receive U.S. aid.
“We believe our hard-earned tax dollars should just go for America. Not for, what? China, Russia, the Middle East, Guam, whatever, wherever,” she said.
Gutierrez agreed that "our federal government should always prioritize the most pressing interests of U.S. citizens."
"That is why I extend this personal invitation to you to visit Guam, so you can see for yourself how our fellow Americans' hard-earned tax dollars are constantly being reinvested into this island, to advance U.S. interests," the former governor told Greene.
In his tongue-in-cheek letter, Gutierrez instructed Greene to "please board the next United Airlines flight from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, then to Honolulu and finally ride a Boeing 777 to the unincorporated United States territory of Guam."
In Washington D.C., Congressman Michael San Nicolas, with a large group of Guam Guards in tow, delivered Chamorro Chip cookies to Greene's office, in a diplomatic bid to introduce Guam to one of the newest members of the House of Representatives.
The first-term Republican congresswoman was not in her office when the Guam entourage arrived. A staffer received the cookies on Greene’s behalf.
Meanwhile, Gutierrez urged Greene to visit Guam so she can "witness just how carefully we protect our American borders, especially during Covid."
"Your journey of 8,000 miles will be well worth the trip. From the moment you arrive, you will see firsthand how Guam is toeing the line and contributing to the national security and international business success of the United States of America," he added.
Gutierrez explained to the congresswoman that Guam's "strategically critical geographic location and advantageous geophysical features make it a mission-critical bastion of American national security, a U.S. hub for transpacific communication, and the furthest westward expansion of freely-elected American government."
Known for the slogan "Where America's day begins," Guam is home to multi-billion dollar U.S. military assets and has been in the crosshairs of China and North Korea.
The territory ranks higher than any state in its per capita enlistment rate.
Yet, its identity continues to create confusion to some. Last year, the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention's travel alert identified Guam as a "foreign country."
“It is a common misconception that Guam is a foreign country. Yet, our island, our indigenous CHamoru people, and the melting pot of cultures making up our society have been part of the United States for more than a century, since shortly after Guam was ceded to the U.S. from Spain at the Treaty of Paris in 1898," Gutierrez told Greene.
"The government of Guam and the CHamoru people are committed to championing U.S. policy objectives and American diplomacy throughout the Western Pacific. Likewise, Guam is a polestar of U.S. law, certified English-language instruction, and certified U.S.-degree learning that integrates internships, regional student exchange, and on-the-job training in the best traditions of American education.
"Although local opinions on Guam's territorial status vary, I am convinced that you will never, in all your live long days, meet another people prouder of their American heritage, following your trip," Gutierrez said.