31 Jan 2009

CNMI Governor's office does not endorse Guantanamo proposal

5:54 am on 31 January 2009

The office of the Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas has distanced itself from a local proposal to establish an alternative to the US-run Guantanamo bay detainee facility.

A member of the CNMI House of Representatives, Ray Yumul, is proposing the US government build a similar facility in the CNMI, after new US President Barack Obama ordered the closure of the Guantanamo facility within a year.

Mr Yumul says it's a good opportunity to provide for the services of national security, bringing in resources and income for the CNMI's weakening economy.

But Governor Benigno Fitial's press secretary, Charles Reyes, says they don't endorse the idea at this point.

"Local residents here are obviously concerned about security threats and threats of terrorism and they don't want any part of it - some veterans feel that way in particular. Secondly, we do have a primary tourism industry and this proposal may not blend very well with the tourism industry. It may potentially scare off tourists."

Charles Reyes.