Guantanamo Base

Cuba Base Column

This column may deserve an update. Obviously a lots changed with Gitmo since June 17, 1994. I’ve been very surprised Castro hasn’t used current events as an excuse to raise heck about getting the base back.

This sums it up nicely. I’ve read we had a protracted cold war over the base for most of the 1960’s. This has been a major thorn in Castro’s rectum for a long, long time.

I do find it very odd that we built a prison there and not one word of protest from Castro? :dubious: Perhaps we made a generous donation somewhere? :slight_smile:

A few references that I found.

How We Got Guantanamo from 1962 Article

Cold War antics

Cecil mentioned the rocks in his column.

Castro could raise a big stink about Gitmo’s prision if he wanted too.

I just have to add this final quote. Adm. Buckeley had a wicked sense of humor. My kind of guy. :wink:

This gets more fascinating as I research it. Adm. Buckeley won the Medal of Honor and Navy Cross. Adm. Buckeley was the guy that got McArthur out of the Philippines.

Castro had no idea who he was messing with. Rocks and lights weren’t going to bother Buckeley.

Sorry for the long winded posts. I find our troubled relationship with Cuba very interesting. It all started with Teddy Roosevelt and San Juan Hill.

IIRC the main legal technicality about having the prison in Guantanamo was that it was not US soil.

If Fidel really wanted to raise crap, the simple solution would be to issue a proclamation ceding gitmo to the USA as its sovereign territory. Then suddenly it becomes subject to US law. Ho ho.

Of course, that would require the communists to think outside the box. No can do.

That would also require the US to accept Gitmo as its territory. For various reasons, the US might be unwilling to accept it, and find the current situation more convenient. One reason would be that it would become much easier to Cuban refugees to reach the United States, and so the US might have to handle many more of them.

ETA: Australia moved Christmas Island out of the Australian migration zone for a similar reason.

Australia was having problems with Cuban refugees? :wink:

md2000, I suppose that depends on what kind of crap Fidel wanted to raise. It might make some temporary political complications for the U.S., but even if we accepted it there might be some legal wiggle room concerning the status of those prisoners. As it is, the loophole is already getting tighter.

But the flipside is that it would make stronger political problems for Fidel. He’s been trying to boot the Americans out. Giving them the property would be the opposite of the answer he wants.

No – just with refugees coming from various parts of Asia via Indonesia. And it’s still having problems with the issue.

Depends. It’s been what? 100 years? Odds are the Americans are not leaving just because Cuba wants them to. Like the Panama Canal Zone, they’ll give it back when they want to.

Governments, left or right wing, are not known for recognizing the inevitable. That would make for an interesting case in the USA. “You occupy it. Your armed forces squat on it. The previous owner has given up all claims and ceded it to you. How can it not be yours?” keep the lawyers busy for another few years and raise trouble - which is what Fidel would enjoy… If it was just a matter of not being PART of the USA itself, then why no terrorist prisons in Puerto Rico or American Samoa?

Puerto Rico and American Samoa are parts of the USA itself. Guantanamo is part of Cuba that the US has leased.


Didn’t the Supreme Court reject the Not Part of the U.S. claim? In Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme court put the detainees squarely within the realm of the U.S. Constitution which especially includes habeas corpus.

I believe that the whole issue of the military base will be resolved rather quickly once the current government is replaced by a more representative government. Neither of the Castro brothers will live forever, and once they pass away, it will be quite difficult for the Communist government to continue without a lot of reform.

The people in Cuba know what’s going on around them and how out of sync they are with the rest of society. Fidel Castro is extremely popular, but there isn’t a whole lot of structure to the Cuban Communist Party. They haven’t had a party congress since 1997. Most of the leadership was born in the 1920s and 1930s and there isn’t a whole lot of fresh blood to draw from.

We’ll see a militarization of the government for a while and probably some China-like free market reforms. There will be some peace overtures to the Cuban population in America, and the Cubans will pressure the government to relax its stance against Cuba. At that time, the U.S. will decide it really doesn’t need a permanent base in Cuba and work out a deal with the government.

I believe they ruled that Guantanamo’s not being part of the US does not alter the fact that it is under US jurisdiction, and that US law therefore applies there, which is not the same thing. If they had ruled that Guantanamo is part of the US, that would be very nearly tantamount to declaring war on Cuba.

Yes, that’s what I meant. They ruled only that U.S. law applied there. They didn’t rule upon whether or not Guantanamo is actually part of the U.S. or not. No party in the case claimed that.

The ruling was based upon the fact that Cuba has absolutely no oversight of the activities on the base, and that U.S. has sole jurisdiction.

I always wondered why Cuba never claimed it had the right to oversee the base operations in regards to the detentions taking place there, then claim that Cuban law would prohibit this activity, and take its case to the U.N.

This would have been a great embarrassment to the U.S who claimed that the base is on Cuban soil, so that U.S. law doesn’t apply and now would have to argue that Cuban law also doesn’t apply there since the base is under U.S. jurisdiction.

md2000 said:

Right, but that doesn’t mean that Castro is happy with the arrangement or that he would think giving them the property outright would make anything better for himself. Causing some hassles for the US might be incentive, but what are the trade offs to the hassles caused to him? I suspect those are more significant in his eyes.

qazwart said:

Possibly, or possibly a new government in Cuba will see benefit from having a U.S. naval base handy, and part of normalizing relations will be returning to accepting the treaty that was/is/might be in place.

Also, the reform method might follow China’s path, or it might follow Russia’s path. Or some other variant. But it is likely something will change, hopefully for the better.

Now that could have been a viable plan to push for trouble. The only problem would have been acknowleding the validity of the treaty, which Castro was not willing to do. So that is why he couldn’t pursue that claim. It would have meant admitting defeat on the Treaty issue and conceding the U.S. the right to have Guantanamo there.