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Should America Return Guantanamo Bay to Cuba?

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posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 11:35 AM
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HISTORY. In the Spanish American War of 1898-1899, at Cuba’s San Juan Hill, “Rough Rider” Theodore Roosevelt became an America icon. In 1900, President McKinley was seeking a second term. The popular “TR” was offered the vice presidential nomination. Winning handily, both men were sworn into office on March 4, 1901. Barely six months later, on September 6, 1901, President McKinley was assassinated. TR became the youngest man to hold the office of president.

By 1903, the American occupation of Cuba was winding down. On February 23, 1903, the U.S. government signed a Treaty with Cuba granting it a perpetual lease to Guantanamo Bay. Tomas Estrada Palma, an American citizen, the first President of Cuba, signed the treaty on behalf of Cuba. The supporting rationale was the United States would need that base as part of its Caribbean defense plans for the Panama Canal. Thanks to US chicanery with Columbia, construction began in 1904 and the first ship traversed the canal in 1914.

In 1934, a second treaty reaffirming the lease but also abrogating the earlier treaty’s restrictions on Cuba’s foreign affairs was entered into. The later treaty also modified lease payments from the original $2,000 in U.S. gold coins per year, to the 1934 equivalent of $4,085 in U.S. Treasury notes. Of greater consequence, the 1934 treaty added a requirement that termination of the lease requires the consent of both governments, or the abandonment of the property by the United States. ISSUE: Did the 1934 document REPLACE the 1903 document, or merely MODIFY it?

U.S. control of this Cuban territory has never been popular with the Cuban government or the Cuban people. The current Cuban government has strongly denounced the treaty on legal grounds that article 52 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which was signed by both governments. declares a treaty void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force. Cuba argues the inclusion in 1903, of the Platt Amendment in the Cuban Constitution was procured by threat of force.

The United States warned the 1903 Cuban Constitutional Convention not to modify the Platt Amendment, and was told U.S. troops would not leave Cuba until its terms had been adopted as a condition for the U.S. to grant independence. Cuba says that makes the 1903 and 1934 treaties stand in contravention to the Vienna Conventions. The U.S. believes it is in compliance with the1969 Vienna Convention.

Fidel Castro has cashed only one rent check, refusing to cash any others, because he views the lease as illegitimate. The United States holds that by cashing the first check received in accordance with said treaty, Castro's government effectively ratified the lease, and cannot unilaterally change its mind after the fact on account of political tensions or ideological differences. The US argues that all Cuban claims regarding an original violation of sovereignty by the Platt Amendment, became moot once the new and independent revolutionary government freely reaffirmed the base's legitimacy.

The U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, covers 45 sq miles and is sometimes abbreviated as "Gitmo." The first Cuban American Treaty held, among other things, that the United States has "complete jurisdiction and control" of the Guantanamo Bay, while the Republic of Cuba was recognized to retain ultimate sovereignty.

Although diplomatic relations do not exist between the two countries, the United States has agreed to return fugitives from Cuban law to Cuban authorities, and Cuba agreed to return fugitives from U.S. law, for offenses committed in Guantanamo Bay, to U.S. authorities.

Prior to the decision by President George Bush to lead the United States into the War on Terror, the base was used to house Cuban and Haitian refugees. Most controversially, the base was used during the early 1990s to hold HIV-positive refugees fleeing Haiti after the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide by a military coup d'etat. These refugees were held in a detainment area called Camp Bulkily until US District Court Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. declared the camp unconstitutional on June 8, 1993. The last Haitian migrants departed from Guantanamo on November 1,1995.

On June 16, 2005, the U.S. Department of Defense announced a unit of defense contractor Halliburton will build a new $30 million detention facility and security perimeter around the base.

HUMANITARIAN ASIDE: The U.S. scattered 75,000 land mines across a so-called "No man's land," i.e. the land strip between the US and Cuban border. It was the largest mine field in the western hemisphere and 2nd largest in the world. On May 16, 1996 Bill Clinton issued a Presidential Order requiring the removal of the mines. They have since been replaced with motion and sound sensors to detect intruders.




posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 11:44 AM
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They dont have too under the treaty only the consent of both governments, or the abandonment of it by the US can result in termination of the lease.

The oldest overseas U.S. Naval Base aint going away anytime soon



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 01:30 PM
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Why Return Guantanamo Bay? I offer these reasons. I’m sure there are others.

ETHICS. We acquired Guantanamo Bay in a way unbecoming a great nation. Although we are not liable for the misconduct of our ancestors, when we learn of their misdeeds, it becomes our responsibility to do what we can to rectify it. In this cars, that means returning that which is not ours to those to whom it belongs.

MISUSE. Owning property that lies outside the ordinary territorial limits has corrupted the United States. We do there what we will not or cannot do here. To purge our souls of this misdeed, we must give up that which we cannot use properly.

MILITARY. Guantanamo Bay has no significant military use in 2006 that we could not do as well in Puerto Rico or the American Virgin Islands, both of which are legally part of the United States. (It is not clear how a free vote of Puerto Ricans on independence would turn out.)

NEIGHBORLINESS. If we decided to return Guantanamo Bay to its rightful owners, the Cuban people, it would offer us an opportunity to resume friendly relations with a viable and worthy people who have endured more hardships than they have deserved.

A CHANCE TO DO RIGHT! Let’s not allow it to slip away.



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 01:39 PM
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I think that the US should invade Cuba and end the suffering of most of the poor cubans. Get it over with.



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 02:06 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite
ETHICS


Why dont we give the whole US back to the Native americans while we are at it. That would be the right thing to do since it was theres first. Perhaps in a perfect world but it aint going to happen


Originally posted by donwhite
MISUSE. Owning property that lies outside the ordinary territorial limits

The US does not own that property it leases it. Theres a difference


Originally posted by donwhite

MILITARY. Guantanamo Bay has no significant military use in 2006

Im not really sure thats your or my call to make but the militaries. Ive had a long standing interest in the military but im not a expert by any means. The Navy considers Guantanamo Bay the front lines of the battle for regional security and protection from drug trafficking and terrorism, and protection for those who attempt to make their way through regional seas in un-seaworthy craft.


Originally posted by donwhite

NEIGHBORLINESS. If we decided to return Guantanamo Bay to its rightful owners, the Cuban people, it would offer us an opportunity to resume friendly relations with a viable and worthy people who have endured more hardships than they have deserved.



Once again in a perfect world but its not going to happen. After the Cuban Missile crisis there will never be friendly relations with Cuba until Castro falls from power or dies.



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 02:28 PM
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The U.S. is not going to give Guantanamo Bay to Fidel Castro. Besides, Castro is getting pretty old and his days are certainly numbered. After Fidel dies, the U.S. can have a presence in Cuba to help the new regime. Oh, if they have a FREE election in Cuba, one with more than one candidate, I'm certain that the new regime will be friendly to the U.S.

Besides, the Cuban people will all be rich because of all the classic cars there....anyone want a '57 Chevy?



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 02:41 PM
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Originally posted by denythestatusquo
I think that the US should invade Cuba and end the suffering of most of the poor cubans. Get it over with.


Meaning as common practice by USG, bombing Cuba to stoneage and putting some right-wing puppet dictator and his half military torture and slaughter squads in charge and giving all valuable business to american megalomaniac companies.

USG has bullied Cubans about 50 years, you don't think it's enought?

God save us from american aid, I would choose the suffering

[edit on 1-3-2006 by HoHoFoo]



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 02:48 PM
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Not much could be worst then having Castro in charge. Cuba was a nicer when the mafia was running things. Communism doesn't work the Russians that came up with the whole system already figured it out, whats taking Castro so long.

People are literally dying to get out of Cuba no into it.



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 02:51 PM
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Originally posted by denythestatusquo
I think that the US should invade Cuba and end the suffering of most of the poor cubans. Get it over with.


Why can't they do it for themselves? Look at what little Castro had when he started out and took over. It didn't take a 4 million man army to overthrow Batista.

The saddest part about the whole Gitmo matter, is that people are more concerned about what goes on inside CIA secret jails, military facilities, than they are about prisons in our own country. Think Abu Gahrab was bad, take a look at your own jails first.



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 03:22 PM
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ShadowXIX: Why don’t we give the whole US back to the Native Americans while we are at it.

Well, S19, I think I can see a difference between the two. We knew we were doing wrong from 1583 onward and some people did object. But the prospect of FREE land was too much for most who recalled the non availability of land in Europe. It - taking of other’s lands - was more a clash of cultures than a premeditated theft.

S19 Offers: “The US does not own that property it leases it. There is a difference.’

I think this has got to be the primo example of a distinction without a difference.

S19 Thinks: “I’m not really sure that’s your or my call to make. I’ve had a long standing interest in the military but I’m not a expert. The Navy considers Guantanamo Bay the front lines of the battle for regional security . .

Well, one of the weaknesses of democracy is ordinary citizens say taxpayers, have to make judgments on matters about which they are not expert. I believe the USN has pretty much abandoned fixed bases in exchange for 11 or 12 super carrier battle groups. Perhaps the Navy uses “security” in a sense I do not understand. Q. What country invaded Panama? Q. What country invaded Granada? Q. What country invaded Cuba? (Bay of Pigs.) It looks to me more like the Navy wants a base to LAUNCH an attack from, than a base to protect us from bogey man enemies?

S19 Continues: “ . . and protection from drug trafficking . . “

Surely you jest? If that was the Navy’s job, we’d have to cashier every officer over O3.

S19 Reminds: “ . . and terrorism, and protection for those who attempt to make their way through regional seas in un-seaworthy craft.”

Well, I guess you are referring to Haitians and discontented Cubans in un-seaworthy craft. As to the terrorism, I have had a problem with that since post War 2. “One man’s terrorist is another man’s hero.”

benevolent tyrant: The U.S. is not going to give Guantanamo Bay to Fidel Castro. After Fidel dies, the U.S. can have a presence in Cuba to help the new regime.

Cubans beware! They may not want US “help” anymore than the Iraqis are “enjoying” our help.

B/T Says: “if they have a FREE election in Cuba, one with more than one candidate, I'm certain that the new regime will be friendly to the U.S.

OR, maybe Cubans will be more like Venezuelans or Bolivians or Chileans or Argentinians? I don’t think we should count on Cubans “overthrowing” the system they have lived with for a half century. The devil you know is often better than the devil you don’t know. [S-XIX and BT edited by Don W]

[edit on 3/1/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite
S19 Continues: “ . . and protection from drug trafficking . . “

Surely you jest? If that was the Navy’s job, we’d have to cashier every officer over O3.



No jest

Its right off the US Guantanamo bay website. Surely the Navy can and does work in conjunction with the Costguard atleast from a intel stand point. And protection from drug trafficking is indeed part of the Coast guards job

Mission


Naval Base Guantanamo Bay is on the front lines of the battle for regional security and protection from drug trafficking and terrorism, and protection for those who attempt to make their way through regional seas in un-seaworthy craft.


www.nsgtmo.navy.mil...



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 03:50 PM
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Besides, the Cuban people will all be rich because of all the classic cars there....anyone want a '57 Chevy?



Oh god thats great, made my afternoon. Cuba supposedly has some of the best beaches in the world and will have a very passionate night life that many americans and other westerners will love to experiance. Which is why guantanamo will in the future become a holding place for american citizens who get out of hand or perform criminal acts while visiting cuba.

I personally can't wait I went to south beach(miami) this past december and WOW I'd have to say that cuban women are by far some of the most beautiful I have ever ever seen (i've travelled pretty extensively).

But yea we should just ignore our own rules and take out Fidel already so cuba can blossom into its full potential



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Why dont we give the whole US back to the Native americans while we are at it. That would be the right thing to do since it was theres first. Perhaps in a perfect world but it aint going to happen
.

You could give it back to us if your not wanting it!



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