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Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla thanks the political and intellectual formation for requesting the base's closure, the return of its territory, and the lifting of the blockade against Cuba.
On Thursday, the Puebla Group urged U.S. President Joe Biden to close the military base created by that country since February 1903 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and which it maintains against the will of the people of the Caribbean nation despite its illegal origin.
In a message disseminated through its website and social networks, the progressive political grouping, which has 52 leaders from 16 countries, urged the U.S. president to close the base and its annexed prison.
The signatories of the petition maintain that this gesture and the lifting of the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the White House on Cuba (which has intensified despite the pandemic) "would represent an important gesture of progress in inter-American relations, respect for human rights and the integration of the region."
The text adds that "this decision would also be interpreted as a positive sign on the road to reestablish the initiative of normalization of relations advanced during the Obama administration, during which the current President Biden was vice-president."
The demand of the Cuban people that the U.S. close the aforementioned naval enclave, return its territory, and put an end to the blockade was also addressed on Thursday by Cuba's Foreign Minister.
In a message disseminated through the social network Twitter, the Cuban Foreign Minister thanked the Puebla Group for its gesture of addressing President Biden.
Agradecemos al Grupo de Puebla @ProgresaLatam su exhortación al Presidente de EEUU para cerrar la base naval de Guantánamo y devolver su territorio, demanda permanente del pueblo cubano, y a poner fin al bloqueo económico contra #Cuba ����, recrudecido durante la #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/sT4Ybf1HU2
"We thank the Puebla Group @ProgresaLatam for its exhortation to the US President to close the Guantanamo naval base and return its territory, a permanent demand of the Cuban people, and to end the economic blockade against #Cuba, intensified during #COVID19."
The naval base in Guantanamo Bay is considered illegal by the Cuban people since the U.S. imposed it under duress. It was born after the U.S. military occupation of Cuba at the beginning of the 20th century after Washington intervened in the liberation war against Spain and frustrated Cuban independence.
Most experts accept that the enclave exists under an imposed agreement. With very authoritative criteria within the U.S., other experts point out that it is inoperative as a military enclave, which suggests that Washington keeps it there as a reminder of its power and omnipresence.
As for the prison, it was created in 2002 by President George W. Bush to hold suspected terrorists following the September 11, 2011 attacks. It has been the subject of investigations and allegations of inhumane torture of inmates.
President Barack Obama (2009-2017) said he would close it but failed to achieve his goal. In 2009, long before coming to the White House, Biden said that the prison would be closed during the Munich Security Conference (Germany), but so far, this has not happened.