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News > Cuba

Cubans Demand The Return of US-Occupied Guantanamo Bay

  • A view of the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba, February 2023.

    A view of the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba, February 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @mldezicapcmg

Published 23 February 2023

Since 1903, Washington has been exercising factual control over a part of the Cuban territory that was rented "to perpetuity."

The International Day of Action Against Us/Nato Military Bases will be held on February 28. Regarding this occasion, the Cuban people demanded the return of the Caimanera territory in Guantanamo province, where the U.S. has held a naval base for 120 years.


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“The illegally-installed naval base is a place of arbitrariness, torture, and abuse where laws have been suspended and justice rejected,” citizen Arbel Cortiñas tweeted, recalling that Cuba has demanded the Caimanera territory devolution since the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.

Washington gained control over this area after Cuba's first president Tomas Estrada-Palma and President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Cuban-American Treaty on February 1903.

Their agreement provided that Cuba would lease Guantanamo Bay to the United States in perpetuity so that Washington could establish naval and shipping stations there.

The treaty was part of the Platt Amendment, which determined the conditions for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Cuba after the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898.

On the Guantanamo naval base, the U.S. fleet prepared attacks on neighboring countries, including Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Panama, and Nicaragua.

In April 1961, during the invasion carried out by Cuban exiles to Bay of Pigs, Washington concentrated reinforcement troops and bellict material in Guantanamo. It also arranged for a frigate to hold 100 counter-revolutionaries to support the raid.

Since Jan. 11, 2002, the base has hosted the Guantanamo detention center, where some 780 Muslims, who were captured during the U.S. invasion to Afghanistan and accused of belonging to the Islamic State or the Al-Qaeda organization, have been tortured.

"As long as this territory remains occupied, the possibility of justifying an aggression or military intervention against Cuba is latent. The U.S.-Cuban relations cannot be normalized while that illegal base imposed by force remains,” historian Elier Ramirez considered.

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