U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Wounds Cuban Sovereignty

Havana, Oct 27.- The most recent order by US President Barack Obama on U.S. policy towards Cuba, contains contradictory elements, among them, the policy linked to the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo.

The document recognizes Cuban sovereignty and self determination, but the US government has made it clear that it has no intentions to modify the administrative orders of the naval base, a place where there is a prison, which has been internationally denounced as a torture center.

This territory is occupied, against the will of the Cuban people and government, but the US administration maintains the idea that the installation permits the improvement and preservation of regional security.

Cuban newspaper Granma has published information on the center of torture in Guantanamo, a chapter to be remembered as one of the darkest in the history of violations of human rights by the US.

The publication recalls that during the administration of George W. Bush and his alleged crusade against international terrorism the military base’s facilities held hundreds of detainees without a legal process, many of them having been transferred from U.S. secret prisons in third countries.

Under the terms of the lease, forced during the U.S. military occupation at the beginning of the last century, the territory where the base is located is Cuban, but Washington has full control over it to carry out its operations.

It’s something that lawyers call ‘a legal black hole’. The only advantage of the facility for the United States is the possibility of carrying out torture and arbitrary detentions without accountability to the courts of that country or the international community, said the newspaper.

Since the opening of the prison in 2002, 779 people have been confined in the facility, 60 of them this month. In addition, 20 individuals remain in incarceration, although their release has been approved by the U.S. Government.

Similarly, 12 of those held, arrived when they were under the age of 18, including a prisoner who was just 13.

Another 31 still have not received approval for their release despite the fact that they have not been accused of committing any crime.

More than 200 agents from the US Federal Bureau of investigations (FBI) have reported abusive treatment toward prisoners, in addition, seven US soldiers resigned or requested their transfer, after expressing worries about the injustices in the torture center.

Since the announcement of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States on December 17th, 2014, Cuba has been presenting the case of the naval base of Guantanamo as one of the main topics to be resolve, for the normalization of the bilateral links, and the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against the Caribbean island.(PL)

Radio Cadena Agramonte, October 27, 2016

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