Guantanamo_Bay_Naval_Base by zzzmarcus


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Guantanamo Bay Naval Base

Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base Guantánamo Bay, Cuba

Map of Cuba with location of Guantánamo Bay indicated
Aerial view of Guantánamo Bay Type Built In use Controlled by Battles/wars Military base 1898 1898 - present United States Navy 1898 invasion of Guantánamo Bay

See also List of commanders of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base The bay was originally called Guantánamo by Christopher Columbus, who landed at the location known as Fisherman’s Point in 1494. The bay was briefly renamed Cumberland Bay when the British took it in the first part of the 18th century during the War of Jenkins’ Ear. In 1790, the British garrison at Cumberland died of fever as had a previous British force,[2] before they could attack Santiago by land.[3] During the Spanish-American War, the U.S. fleet attacking Santiago retreated to Guantánamo’s excellent harbor to ride out the summer hurricane season of 1898. The Marines landed with naval support, requiring Cuban scouts to push off Spanish resistance that increased as they moved inland. This area became the location of U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, which covers about 45 square miles (116 km²) and is sometimes abbreviated as "GTMO" or "Gitmo".

Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is located on the shore of Guantánamo Bay at the southeastern end of Cuba and has been used by the United States Navy for more than a century. It is the oldest overseas U.S. Navy Base, and the only one in a country with which the United States does not have diplomatic relations.[1] The Cuban government opposes the presence of the naval base, claiming that the lease is invalid under international law. The U.S. government claims that the lease is valid. Since 2002, the naval base has contained a military prison, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, for persons alleged to be enemy combatants captured in Afghanistan and later in Iraq. These are combatants who are considered "unlawful combatants" and who were formerly not being afforded protection under the Geneva Conventions for various reasons.

See also Timeline of Guantánamo Bay The base in 1916


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Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
or the U.S. abandoned the base property. Since the Cuban Revolution, the government under Fidel Castro has cashed only one of the rent checks from the US government. The Cuban government maintains this was only done because of "confusion" in the heady early days of the revolution, while the US government maintains that the cashing constitutes an official validation of the treaty. The remaining uncashed checks made out to "Treasurer General of the Republic" (a position that has ceased to exist after the revolution) are kept in Castro’s office stuffed into a desk drawer.[4] Until the 1953-59 revolution, thousands of Cubans commuted daily from outside the base to jobs within. In mid-1958, vehicular traffic was stopped; workers were required to walk through the base’s several gates. Public Works Center buses were pressed into service almost overnight to carry the tides of workers to and from the gate.[5] By 2006, only two elderly Cubans still crossed the base’s North East Gate daily to work on the base; this is because the Cuban government prohibits new recruitment. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the families of military personnel were evacuated from the base. Notified of the evacuation on October 22, evacuees were told to pack one suitcase per family member, to bring evacuation and immunization cards, to tie pets in the yard, to leave the keys to the house on the dining table, and to wait in front of the house for buses.[6] Dependents traveled to the airfield for flights to the United States, or to ports for passage aboard evacuation ships. After the crisis was resolved, family members were allowed to return to the base in December 1964.

Satellite view of Guantánamo Bay

Map of Guantánamo Bay showing approximate U.S. Naval Boundaries By the war’s end, the U.S. government had obtained control of all of Cuba from Spain. A perpetual lease for the area around Guantánamo Bay was offered February 23, 1903, from Tomás Estrada Palma, an American citizen, who became the first President of Cuba. The Cuban-American Treaty gave, among other things, the Republic of Cuba ultimate sovereignty over Guantánamo Bay while granting the United States "complete jurisdiction and control" of the area for coaling and naval stations. A 1934 treaty reaffirming the lease granted Cuba and her trading partners free access through the bay, modified the lease payment from $2,000 in U.S. gold coins per year, to the 1934 equivalent value of $4,085 in U.S. dollars, and made the lease permanent unless both governments agreed to break it

An aerial view of the naval base with the Navy Exchange and McDonalds at left and an outdoor movie theater at bottom right


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Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Notable persons born at the naval base include actor Peter Bergman and American-British guitarist Isaac Guillory. In 2005, the Navy completed a $12 million wind project, erecting four wind turbines capable of supplying about a quarter of the base’s peak power needs, reducing diesel fuel usage and pollution from the existing diesel generators.[11] On January 22, 2009, President Obama signed executive orders directing the Central Intelligence Agency to shut what remains of its network of secret prisons and ordering the closing of the Guantánamo detention camp within a year. However, as he reversed the most disputed counterterrorism policies of the Bush years, Mr. Obama postponed for at least six months difficult decisions on the details.[12]

Two of the wind turbines installed by the Navy in 2005 Since 1939, the base’s water had been supplied by pipelines that drew water from the Yateras River about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) northeast of the base. The U.S. government paid a fee for this; in 1964, it was about $14,000 a month for about two and a half million U.S. gallons (10 million L) per day. In 1964, the Cuban government stopped the flow. The base had about 14 million gallons water in storage, and strict water conservation was put into effect immediately. The U.S. first imported water from Jamaica via barges, then relocated a desalination plant from San Diego, California (Point Loma).[7] When the Cuban government accused the United States of stealing water, base commander John D. Bulkeley ordered that the pipelines be cut and a section removed. A 38-inch (964 mm) length of the 14-inch (355 mm) diameter pipe and a 20-inch (508 mm) length of the 10-inch (254 mm) diameter pipe were lifted from the ground and the openings sealed. With over 9,500 U.S. sailors and Marines,[8] Guantanamo Bay is the only U.S. base in operation in a Communist led country. "Gitmo" has a U.S. amateur radio call sign series, KG4 followed by two letters.[9] This is completely distinct from Cuban radio callsigns, which typically begin with CL, CM, CO, or T4.[10]. For "ham" purposes it is considered to be a separate "entity." This position is not recognized by Cuba’s amateur radio society.

Cuban opposition

Cuban workers return home through the North East Gate, circa 1983 The long-term lease of Guantanamo Bay by the United States has been unpopular with the Cuban government since 1959. The present sovereigns of the territory covering


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Guantanamo Bay, the Republic of Cuba, led by the Communist Party of Cuba, claim that as sovereign land owners they may evict the people who live and work there, pointing to article 52[13] of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which declares a treaty void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force — in this case by the inclusion, in 1901, of the Platt Amendment in the first Cuban Constitution. The United States warned the Cuban Constitutional Convention not to remove the Amendment, and stated U.S. troops would not leave Cuba until its terms had been adopted as a condition for the U.S. to grant independence. However, the United States has argued that Article 4 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties prohibits retroactive application of said Convention to already existing treaties,[14] such as the ones concluded between the US and Cuba in 1903 and 1934. The Platt Amendment was dissolved in 1934, and the treaty re-affirming the lease to the base was signed after Franklin D. Roosevelt dispatched 29 U.S. warships to Cuba and Key West to protect U.S. interests following a military coup.[15] After coming to power in 1959, Cuban ruler Fidel Castro refused to cash all but the very first rent check in protest.[4] But the United States argues that its cashing signifies Havana’s ratification of the lease—and that ratification by the new government renders moot any questions about violations of sovereignty and illegal military occupation. The San Francisco Chronicle published an article, on April 22, 2007, about the base, and the conditions under which the treaty would be rendered void.[16] The article states the treaty allows the USA to use the base for "coaling and naval purposes only." It states it does not allow the USA to use it for detaining "enemy combatants", or trying them for war crimes. It further states that the treaty explicitly proscribes "commercial, industrial or other enterprise within said areas." However, the base sports half a dozen fast-food concessions and a Navy Exchange store, for the sailors and not for commercial relations among the native Cubans. According to the article, American business, political and cultural figures with regular contact with Cuban leaders say they have the impression that the Cuban government wants the U.S. military off the island but that the issue isn’t a priority now.[16]

Guantanamo Bay Naval Base

Cactus Curtain

Minefield maintenance Marines stack mines for disposal, 1997 Cactus Curtain is the name of the line separating Guantánamo Bay from Cuba proper. After the Cuban Revolution, some Cubans sought refuge on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. In the fall of 1961, Cuba had its troops plant an 8-mile (13 km) barrier of Opuntia cactus along the northeastern section of the 28-kilometre (17 mi) fence surrounding the base to stop Cubans from escaping Cuba to take refuge in the United States.[17] This was dubbed the "Cactus Curtain", an allusion to Europe’s Iron Curtain[18] and the Bamboo Curtain in East Asia. U.S. and Cuban troops placed some 55,000 land mines across the "no man’s land" between the U.S. and Cuban border, creating the second-largest minefield in the world, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere. On May 16, 1996, U.S. President Bill Clinton ordered their removal. They have since been replaced with motion and sound sensors to detect intruders. The Cuban government has not removed the corresponding minefield on its side of the border.[19][20]

Detention camp
In the last quarter of the 20th century, the base was used to house Cuban and Haitian refugees intercepted on the high seas. In the early 1990s, it held refugees who fled Haiti after military forces overthrew democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. These refugees were held in a detainment area called Camp Bulkeley until United States district court Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. declared the camp unconstitutional on June 8, 1993. This decision was later vacated.


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Guantanamo Bay Naval Base

One of the guard towers at Guantanamo Bay, 1991 On June 10, 2006, the Department of Defense reported that three Guantánamo Bay detainees committed suicide. The military reported the men hanged themselves with nooses made of sheets and clothes. Further information: Guantanamo suicide attempts The closing-down of the Guantánamo Prison has been requested by Amnesty International (May 2005), the United Nations (February 2006) and the European Union (May 2006). On September 6, 2006, President George W. Bush announced that enemy combatants held by the CIA will be transferred to the custody of Department of Defense, and held at Guantánamo Prison. Among approximately 500 prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, only 10 have been tried by the Guantanamo military commission, but all cases have been stayed pending the adjustments being made to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. President Barack Obama has stated that he intends to close down the detention camp and is planning on bringing detainees to the United States to stand trial by the end of his first term in office. On January 22, 2009, he signed an executive order which mandated the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp within a year. While mandating the closure of the detention facility, the naval base as a whole was not subject to the order and will remain operational indefinitely.

Detainees upon arrival at Camp X-Ray, January 2002 The last Haitian migrants departed Guantánamo on November 1, 1995. The Migrant Operations Center on Guantánamo typically keeps fewer than 30 people interdicted at sea in the Caribbean region. Beginning in 2002, a small portion of the base was used to imprison several hundred individuals — some of whom were captured by US forces in Afghanistan, though the majority were "bought" for a substantial bounty (generally around $5,000) from various warlords and mercenaries both in Afghanistan and elsewhere — at Camp Delta, Camp Echo, Camp Iguana, and the now-closed Camp XRay. The US military has asserted that some, but not all, of these detainees are linked to Al-Qaeda or the Taliban. The military has withheld the evidence against detainees asserted to be linked to terrorist organizations or enemy states. In litigation regarding the availability of fundamental rights to those imprisoned at the base, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that the detainees "have been imprisoned in territory over which the United States exercises exclusive jurisdiction and control."[21] Therefore, the detainees have the fundamental right to due process of law under the Fifth Amendment. A district court has since held that the "Geneva Conventions applied to the Taliban detainees, but not to members of Al-Qaeda terrorist organization."[22]

Represented businesses
In 1986, Guantanamo became host to Cuba’s first and only McDonald’s restaurant, as well as a Subway.[23] These fast food restaurants are on base, and not accessible to Cubans. It


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Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Public Affairs Office. index.htm. Retrieved on June 11 2007. [2] "Guantanamo Bay Freeport". Globalisation Institute. 13 April 2005. blog/ 0504_guantanamo_bay_freeport.php. Retrieved on 2006-03-15. [3] Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr., U.S.M.C. (February 1962). "How We Got GUANTANAMO". American Heritage Magazine 13 (2). articles/magazine/ah/1962/2/ 1962_2_18.shtml. [4] ^ Boadle, Anthony (17 August 2007). "Castro: Cuba not cashing U.S. Guantanamo rent checks". Reuter. newsdesk/N17200921.htm. Retrieved on 2009-02-14. [5] M. E. Murphy, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy. "The History of Guantanamo Bay 1494 -1964: Chapter 18, "Introduction of Part II, 1953 - 1964"". index.htm. Retrieved on 2006-03-15. [6] M. E. Murphy. "The History of Guantánamo Bay 1494 -1964: Chapter 19, "Cuban Crisis, 1962"". index.htm. Retrieved on 2006-03-15. [7] John Pomfret, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps. "The History of Guantanamo Bay, Vol. II 1964 - 1982: Chapter 1, After the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1968". AboutGTMO/gtmohistgeneral/ gtmohistmurphy/gtmohistmurphyvol2/ gtmohistmurphyvol2ch1/CNIC_047247. Retrieved on 2008-03-31. [8] Ralston, Jeannie (April 2005). "09360 NoMan’s-Land". National Geographic. ngm/0504/feature8/index.html. [9] Federal Communications Commission. "Amateur Radio Call Sign Naming Convention". services/ index.htm?job=call_signs_1&id=amateur. Retrieved on 2008-12-02. [10] International Telecommunication Union. "Table of Allocation of International Call Sign Series". rr/ap42.htm. Retrieved on 2009-01-30.

Guantánamo’s McDonald’s has been reported that prisoners cooperating with interrogations have been rewarded with Happy Meals from the McDonald’s located on the mainside of the base.[24] In 2004, Guantanamo opened a combined KFC & A&W restaurants at the bowling alley and a Pizza Hut Express at the Windjammer Restaurant.[25] There is also a Taco Bell, and an ice cream shop that sells Starbucks coffee. All the restaurants on the installation are franchises owned and operated by the Department of the Navy.[26] All proceeds from these restaurants are used to support morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) activities for service personnel and their families.

See also
• Cuba-United States relations • Platt Amendment • The Road to Guantanamo - A docu-drama directed by Michael Winterbottom about the incarceration of three British detainees at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base. • Compare with other foreign establishments: Historical: • U.S.: Subic Bay, Panama Canal Zone • UK: Hong Kong, Chinese treaty ports, Irish treaty ports, Singapore • Portugal: Macau, Goa • Netherlands: Jaffna, Galle, Trincomalee Current: • UK: Akrotiri and Dhekelia (Cyprus)

[1] "U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay". U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay


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Guantanamo Bay Naval Base

[11] United States Navy. The Department of gbay_10-14.html. Retrieved on Navy Debuts Largest Wind Energy 2006-03-15. Project To Date. April 25, 2005. [24] Corera, Gordon (16 January 2006). [12] "Obama Orders Secret Prisons and "Guantanamo Bay’s unhappy Detention Camps Closed". anniversary" (HTML). The New Nation. Archived from the original on politics/23GITMOCND.html. Retrieved 2008-01-29. on 2009-01-22. 20080129182414/ [13] "Article 52 of the Vienna Convention on artman/exec/view.cgi/44/24715. the Law of treaties". Retrieved on 2006-03-15. [25] "Dining". JTF Guantanamo. instruments/english/conventions/ 1_1_1969.pdf#search=%22article%2052%20of%20the%201969%20Vienna%20Convention%20on%20 community/dining.html. Retrieved on [14] 2009-01-22. instruments/english/conventions/ [26] Andrew Selsky (2008-11-27). "Not just a 1_1_1969.pdf pdf prison, the Navy sees many uses for [15] Cuba and the United States: A Guantánamo". Miami Herald. Chronological History Jane Franklin 1997 americas/cuba/story/586867.html. [16] ^ Carol J. Williams (April 22, 2007). Retrieved on 2008-11-28. mirror "Guantanamo echoes U.S. ’gunboat’ past: Anti-American forces use Navy base as rallying symbol". San Francisco Chronicle. U.S. military website bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/ • — "U.S. Naval Station 2007/04/22/ Guantanamo Bay Cuba: The United States’ MNGSLPAVUL1.DTL&type=politics. oldest overseas Naval Base" Retrieved on 2007-04-22. • Reprocessed Combatant Status Review [17] "Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and Tribunal (CSRT) and Administrative Ecological Crises". Trade and Review Board (ARB) Documents Environment Database. American University. White House Statement TED/guantan.htm. Retrieved on 2009-04-19. • Read the Sept. 6 2006 statement about [18] "Yankees Besieged". TIME. 1962-03-16. Military Commissions, covering Guantanamo Bay article/0,9171,940656,00.html. [19] Rosenberg, Carol (1999-06-29). Maps and photos "Guantanamo base free of land mines". • — Guantánamo The Miami Herald. Province photos with the view from Mirador de Malones cuba/guantanamo-mines.htm. Retrieved • Google Maps on 2009-02-14. • Virtual 3D Walkthrough of Camp Delta [20] "Destination Guantanamo Bay". BBC (from the Art project Zone*Interdite News. 28 December 2001. requires Windows download) americas/1731704.stm. Retrieved on Movies 2006-03-15. • Road to Guantanamo [21] Rasul v. Bush, 542 U.S. 466 (2004). • Gitmo-The new rules of war [22] In re Guantánamo detainee Cases, 355 • A Few Good Men F.Supp.2d 443 (D.D.C. 2005). [23] Warner, Margaret (October 14 2003). Human rights affairs "INSIDE GUANTANAMO" (HTML). • Reporting on life behind the wire: The Online NewsHour. Sudanese journalist Sami al Hajj held in newshour/bb/military/july-dec03/

External links


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Guantanamo Bay, in The Independent, June 7, 2007

Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Coordinates: 19°54′N 75.15°W / 19.9; -75.15 75°9′W / 19.9°N

Retrieved from "" Categories: Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Overseas military bases, 2003 Iraq conflict, Geography of Cuba, Spanish-American War, United States Navy bases, Banana Wars, Territories under military occupation This page was last modified on 18 May 2009, at 12:38 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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